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The mayor of Chicago appointed Tamika Puckett to the position of chief risk manager for the city in an announcement Friday.
Ms. Puckett, who has been a risk manager for nearly two decades, most recently served as the city of Atlanta’s director of enterprise risk management, where she managed the city’s workers compensation and property/casualty insurance programs, said Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office in a news release. In Chicago, she will oversee the implementation of an enterprise risk management strategy aimed at mitigating the cost of claims, judgments and liabilities, according to the mayor’s office.
Under the newly created Office of Risk Management, Ms. Puckett will coordinate a citywide risk-reduction strategy and implement initiatives to reduce vehicular accidents, damage to property, workplace accidents and lawsuits concerning police practices, which cost the city tens of millions of dollars a year, according to the release. The office will also focus on freeing up funds that would otherwise be spent on lawsuits, attorney fees and other payouts from avoidable incidents and injuries, said the mayor’s office.
In June, Mayor Lightfoot’s office announced “sweeping” reforms to the city’s workers compensation program through a partnership with Rolling Meadows, Illinois-based Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. The city’s workers comp program has faced criticism after an independent audit performed by Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP revealed widespread deficiencies, a lack of training for administrators, insufficient fraud controls and a lack of clear policies to ensure consistency in investigations and claim administration, and cost the city $98 million in 2018.
Prior to joining the city of Atlanta, Ms. Puckett helmed the risk management program at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and has experience in risk assessment, workers compensation, contractual risk transfer and training programs.
The Chicago Bears has learned that settling its rough-and-tumble workers compensation claims can be a real bear.