|Mayor Daley says he won't protect city contractors. (Photo courtesy of cityofchicago.org)|
"This will not just be a ban on so-called corporate contributions, but a ban on the owners of companies and their spouses," says Mayor Richard M. Daley (D). "I would sooner give up this office than protect contractors who would defraud the city of Chicago."
Most city contractors perform transportation, sanitation or construction work.
Meanwhile, a federal investigation continues into the citys corruption-plagued "Hired Truck Program." The city currently hires private trucking firms to haul waste from construction projects, but it plans to terminate the outsourcing program soon, Daley says. Apparently, city efforts had failed to reform insider corruption and stop sham disadvantaged-businesses from winning contracts.
As for the campaign contributions, the city is drafting an executive order banning them, officials say. Firms that violate the rule will have their contracts cancelled and contributions returned. The city has not yet detailed how it plans to keep tabs on political donors.
The move follows the resignation of Chicagos chief procurement officer, Eric J. Griggs, who last year led a six-month effort to trim back the citys minority contracting program. Previously, a federal judge ruled that the program did not effectively address the problems of the citys "racially-segregated construction market." Griggs says he will perform consulting work for Chicago minority firms, as well as teach business courses at a local college.
Mary Dempsey, formerly Chicagos library commissioner, replaced Griggs on Feb. 4. Acting as the city's interim procurement chief, Dempseys top priority will be a "top to bottom" investigation of affirmative-action fraud, Daley says. Last month, city officials banned five firms.