| by Project Six

CHICAGO (Dec. 14, 2016) – Today, a federal indictment was brought against Chicago Alderman Willie B. Cochran for charges of misusing money in his campaign finance accounts.

In announcing the charges, the United States Attorney’s office recognized the work of the now-disbanded Office of the Legislative Inspector General of Chicago in investigating and pursuing the allegations against Alderman Cochran. Faisal Khan, the former Legislative Inspector General for Chicago and current CEO of Project Six, issued the following statement on the charges against Alderman Cochran.

“The charges against Alderman Cochran unfortunately show the blatant and systematic disregard for ethics and campaign finance law that so many elected officials have displayed.

“As Legislative Inspector General, I was charged to help restore ethics and accountability to the Chicago City Council. In a city that is known for its history of corruption, that is easier said than done. For years, Chicago’s elected officials have blocked and hindered ethics oversight for the City Council. As today’s charges show, it is needed now more than ever.

“The charges against Alderman Cochran show how effective ethics oversight can make a significant difference in bettering Chicago government.

“Despite the many criticisms leveled at the Office of the Legislative Inspector General, I am proud of the work the OLIG accomplished during our brief tenure at City Hall. Numerous aldermen tried to discredit and undermine our work and ethics oversight in Chicago. But, despite the roadblocks put in place by Chicago politicians, effective oversight can happen in Chicago.

“Unfortunately, the Office of the Legislative Inspector General was a casualty of a political culture in City Hall. At Project Six, our mission is the same as our mission was at the OLIG, to uncover and expose government corruption and change the systems that allow it to persist. We will continue to work with the FBI and prosecutors in the future.”

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Nathaniel Hamilton, nhamilton@thesecretsix.com or (312) 618-6238