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City’s inspector general takes on Ald. Burke over worker’s comp

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter [email protected] July 26, 2012 10:14AM

Inspector General Joe Ferguson has already gone toe-to-toe with former Mayor Richard M. Daley and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Now, he’s taking on the City Council’s most powerful alderman.

Ferguson went public Thursday with a jurisdictional dispute that’s been simmering in private for weeks: the decision of Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) to deny Ferguson access to databases related to the city’s $100 million-a-year workers’ compensation program for civilian employees.

Burke’s staff is refusing to release that information on the grounds that: so-called “duty disability” is governed by state law, not city ordinance; that Ferguson’s investigative powers are limited to misconduct; and that the Finance Committee staffers who administer the worker’s comp program fall under the jurisdiction of the City Council’s own inspector general.

City’s inspector general takes on Ald. Burke over worker’s comp