Peraica Introduces New Ethics Ordinance Amendments

Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-16) will introduce new ethics ordinance amendments to help curb the unethical and corrupt practices of county elected officials and employees. The measures will be introduced at today’s Cook County Board meeting.

“Cook County has long had problems with illegal hiring and patronage and we must set a new standard of behavior for all, starting with elected officials and all the way down to the front line workers,” said Peraica.

These amendments are meant to bring needed to reform to county employment practices and set stronger limitations on contributions to candidates and elected officials.

“A new culture of service, responsibility and respect must be established. That is why I am introducing these amendments to the county ethics ordinance,” added Peraica.

Under Commissioner Peraica’s draft amendments:

  • No Cook County employee or elected official may serve as a lobbyist for any entity other than Cook County. (Sec. 2-573)
  • No current or former Cook County elected official, nor any business or firm in which they have a financial interest may receive business from the county for a period of two years after employment is severed with the county. (Sec. 2-580)
  • No current or former Cook County elected official or employee may have a financial interest in any entity doing business with the county for a period of two years after termination of employment with the county. (Sec. 2-581)
  • No Cook County elected official or employee may sell property to the county under the guise of eminent domain. (Sec. 2-581)
  • The limitations on campign contributions which apply to entities doing business or seeking to do business with Cook County will also apply to individuals holding a financial interest in any such entity. The entity doing (or seeking to do) business with the county, and anyone holding a financial interest in such entity shall be combined and counted as an aggregate towards a single maximum. (Sec. 2-585 (b))
  • The threshold for being consdered a county vendor will be lowered from $10,000 over 12 months to $5,000. (Sec. 2-585 (d))
  • The term “seeking to do business” with the county will mean taking action within the past 12 months to obtain a contract or business with the county, instead of the current 6 months. (Sec. 2-585 (f))
  • Campaign contributions to a county elected official or candidate for county office shall include non-county political funds under the candidate or elected official’s name, meaning that contributions to all funds under an officials name will be combined and counted as an aggregate towards a single maximum. (Sec. 2-585 (g))

The full draft of the amendments can be downloaded at: http://bit.ly/PeraicaEthicsAmendment

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