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Intent of Inspector General To Curb Corruption In City Operations


Springfield officials are considering adding a position that will take a closer look at misbehavior in city government.

The description of the investigator general job is still pretty vague, but the city has hired a consultant to outline how it will work.   City council members pointed to incidents such as the police file shredding scandal to show the need for the post.  

Alderman Cory Jobe says the Springfield council needs to be "proactive" when it comes to  transparent government, not reactive.
"The last three years we've had questionable incidents that were not as large as the shredding incident.  But we've had incidences and cases where we've had employees write letters to us as aldermen, or make phone calls, fearful of retaliation if they do go to a superior," Jobe said.

Former Mayor Karen Hasara created the inspector position in her administration during 1990's.  But, Jobe says funding priorities changed after that time.

Ward 6 alderman Cory Jobe says  the city of Springfield has more questionable incidents for a city of its size.

"What the tipping point could have been was probably the shredding incident, now mind you that could be an isolated incident.  But I think we as city leaders need to be proactive in our approach to transparent government, rather than reactive," Jobe said.

Last year, several police files were apparently disposed of after they were requested by a local reporter.  That led to the resignation of Springfield's top lawyer and abrupt retirement of the police chief.

But not all aldermen are sold on the idea.  Alderman Joe McMenamin is calling for the mayor to veto the contract, saying the post is a poor use of taxpayer money.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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