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Chicago to audit workers comp program after key alderman charged

Chicago to audit workers comp program after key alderman charged

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered a forensic audit of the city’s workers compensation program after an elected official overseeing the program faced criminal charges last week.

The workers comp program had been under the jurisdiction of Alderman Ed Burke but the official resigned from his long-standing position as chairman of Chicago’s Committee on Finance on Friday after he was charged with attempted extortion. Mr. Burke allegedly used his position to influence restaurant executives to use his law firm for tax work, among other things.

According to a statement by the mayor, city agencies have been directed to commission an independent audit of the approximately $100 million program and report back within 60 days of commencement. The audit will include an evaluation of the program’s practices and resource management and identify potential waste, fraud or abuse, the statement said.

“After years in the Committee on Finance, we have a unique opportunity to hit the reset button on workers compensation,” Mr. Emanuel said in the statement.

The mayor’s office also stated that the audit is being ordered to ensure due diligence in the workers comp program, not because of any suspected illegal activity.