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City Inspector General Joe Ferguson deserves applause, not censure or firing

Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s track record is admirable. Few, if any, of his predecessors can match his contributions to the common good.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s term runs through late 2021 and he said discussing whether he wants to stay in the job, or if Mayor Lori Lightfoot will appoint someone to take his place, is a low priority right now.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Mayor Lori Lightfoot campaigned on a platform of transparency and sound government answerable to the people, but her recent talk of not retaining Inspector General Joe Ferguson belies those promises. It suggests that she considers her administration to be above criticism, running perfectly for the benefit of taxpaying citizens. No city, especially one as big, complex and riven by politics as Chicago, runs flawlessly.

The job of an inspector general is to find and publicize those flaws, and prescribe fixes. Ferguson’s track record in that respect is admirable. If quantified, the savings his investigations have resulted in would be in the millions of dollars, far more than his department’s budget. He deserves applause, not censure or firing. Few, if any, of his predecessors can match his contributions to the common good.

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Lightfoot has suggested she thinks Ferguson has been in his job long enough, but I suspect this is really about his criticisms of the police department. He has noted that the department has a 70% failure rate for not meeting court-supervised reform deadlines, most recently under the watch of Lightfoot’s hand-picked superintendent, David Brown.

What matters is Ferguson’s effectiveness, not how long he’s been on the job.

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

Trump supporters are hopeless

In her column on Election Day, Lynn Sweet suggested that we should not be “bamboozled” with our Dear Leader’s proclamation that the election “should end November 3rd.” But Trump’s supporters have willingly been bamboozled for almost 6 years and they won’t stop now.

They are hopeless.

Don Anderson, Oak Park