Ethics program independence is, as far as I'm concerned, the single
most important issue in ethics reform. Nothing gains the public's
trust as much as an ethics program that is independent from the
officials over whom it has jurisdiction.
It is clear from the second report of the Chicago Ethics Reform Task
Force (attached; see below) that the task force members cared about
making the Chicago's ethics program more independent. But the task
force stopped short of community organization selection of ethics
board members or budget guarantees. In fact, it stopped short of
recommending any further independence for the ethics board, whose
members are selected by the mayor. And the mayor, in his
, decided to compromise on the task force's
most (although not very) radical suggestion. It's notable that one
of the few instances in which the mayor disagreed with the task
force involved the mayor's authority.