CHICAGO, IL – According to the Chicago Sun-Times, as many as 1,000 Chicago Police officers could be disciplined for not filing their annual city ethics statements by the June 1 deadline. Officers were notified of the deadline electronically instead of by mail.
The fate of the officers remains unclear. Rich Superfine, an attorney with the city’s Board of Ethics says: “Whether there’s one or a million [violations], there can be no violation until and unless the board finds a violation. That’s Step One. Step Two is that we will communicate that to the department, and the department determines what, if anything, they want to do.”
The situation is a potential political landmine for newly-elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He made ethics reform a central part of his campaign, but disciplining 1,000 during a time of low morale and a police shortage is not something he wants to do.
FOP President Mike Shields blames the police department for the problem.
“If 1,000 Chicago Police officers have not replied electronically to the [demand for their] ethics statements, this appears to be more of a problem with the Chicago Police management failing to deliver the message to the rank-and-file officer,” Shields said.
“The thought of punishing 1,000 officers to deflect the blame away from police brass doesn’t serve well to improve our morale.”