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A report published Tuesday by Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson seized on the City Council’s approval of the Smart Lighting Program as an example of problems the office has observed when it comes to communication and transparency with aldermen over items that require their vote.
Ferguson “conducted an inquiry” into the role the since-disbanded Chicago Infrastructure Trust had in the legislative process that ultimately led to the City Council voting in 2017 to approve the contract for the Smart Lighting Program to modernize the city’s street light system, according to the report, which summarizes investigations conducted by the watchdog office during the final quarter of 2020. While hiccups in the council approval process did not necessarily constitute wrongdoing, a series of communication issues exposed “management problems” among some city agencies, Ferguson wrote.