Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Ed Board

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times


The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is well acquainted with construction projects that drag on for decades, like the 47-year-old Deep Tunnel.

Maybe that’s why some MWRD commissioners think it’s just fine to drag out for years the business of appointing an inspector general. Or maybe they just fear a snoopy IG.

But it can happen right now. There’s a smart plan on the table. And it should happen.

For two years, the MWRD has been working on a plan to have Cook County’s inspector general, Patrick M. Blanchard, take over as the water agency’s inspector general as well. It’s a perfect example of better government. The MWRD would be sharing resources, tapping into existing expertise, and getting off to a quick start. There would be no need to create a whole new office.


But now that an intergovernmental agreement has been drafted and money has been allocated in the MWRD’s budget, some commissioners are trying to stall the process.

No thanks.

Or as Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, put it: “Delay is not the taxpayer’s friend.”

At the MWRD’s Feb. 7 meeting, Vice President Barbara McGowan called for shelving the plan to bring in the Cook County inspector general. Instead, she suggested that the MWRD put out a “request for proposal” to hire its own inspector general.

That’s a bad idea for several reasons.

First, an IG hired by the MWRD wouldn’t have subpoena power, which is critical to effective investigations, unless the state Legislature granted it. Second, hiring an IG in this way would take many more months, if not years. Third, the request-for-proposal process would give the MWRD staff too much influence in choosing the IG.

There’s no reason Cook County and the MWRD should not share the services of a single inspector general. It’s something that’s done. The City of Chicago shares an IG with the Public Building Commission. Cook County shares an IG with the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

And Cook County and the MWRD share almost identical borders.

You could be forgiven for suspecting this last-minute delay is driven by a fear of what an independent inspector might find in an agency that has an annual budget of more than $1 billion. That’s certainly our own suspicion.

But even if some commissioners truly believe for the best of reasons that it would be wiser for the MWRD to hire its own IG, that’s no reason to block the current plan. The MWRD could hire Blanchard for now, while working out the details of hiring an IG of its own.

The proposal to hire Blanchard is not on the agency’s board agenda for Thursday. But it could be on the board agenda as early as next month.

When it is, commissioners, vote for it.

Send letters to


Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.