Transparency and disclosure of potential conflicts of interests is a cornerstone of ethics regulation, in Chicago and elsewhere.
On March 1, 2013, about 3,500 City employees and officials were notified of their requirement to file a Statement of Financial Interests with the Board of Ethics on or before May 31, 2013, as required by §2-156-150 of the City’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance. They were also notified that the penalties for failing to timely file have changed. Under the ethics reforms that took effect on November 1, 2012, the penalties are now: (1) violators will be fined $250 for each day their violation continues; (2) the Board shall make their names and violations public; and (3) employees who violate this law are subject to employment sanctions, up to and including discharge, and officials who violate this law are subject to removal from office.
The criteria for who must file this yearly form have also changed. Through 2012, only those City employees whose annual City salary was at or above a specified rate needed to file. November 2012 amendments to the Ordinance now provide that whether City employees need to file depends upon their official responsibilities. Employees who meet these criteria have been identified by their departments. The criteria are:
*Department or agency heads
*Deputy and assistant commissioners or directors
*Police Department personnel with the rank of Captain and above, and Shakman-exempt civilians
*Fire Department personnel with the rank of Battalion Chief and above, and Shakman-exempt civilians
*Chief financial and accounting directors
*Chief grant coordinators or program managers
*Employees with policy-making authority
*Employees with decision-making responsibilities for negotiating, authorizing or approving the performance of City contracts, leases or land use applications
*Employees who are responsible for inspecting or licensing any person or entity
*Employees whose primary duty is to invest public funds
*Employees who direct, supervise or manage 20 or more other City employees
*Each Mayor’s Office employee is not solely clerical
*Each City Council employee who is not solely clerical
*Each person who qualifies as a candidate for elected City office
*Each appointed official, except a member of a board or commission that is solely advisory and has no authority to make biding decisions, to enter into contracts or to make expenditures (other than expenditures necessarily incurred for research in connection with its advisory function).
Also, beginning in 2013, aldermen will file their forms with the Board, rather than with the City Clerk. The other 3 City elected officials and about 500 appointed members of various City boards and commissions will still file with the Board of Ethics.
The 2013 form has 3 new questions, based on the recommendations of the Mayor's Ethics Reform Task Force.
All filed forms are made public on this website. To search for a filed form, please click this link