City watchdog Joseph Ferguson will leave at the end of his current term on October 15.


Chicago City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson will leave at the end of his term on Oct. 15, according to a resignation letter obtained Friday by the Sun-Times.

Ferguson’s letter does not explain the reasons for his departure, but it comes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested last year that she would not renew him.

“Joe Ferguson has been in office for a very long time… He is to be commended for the very good, hard work he and his team have done on the investigations, but especially on the audit work,” Lightfoot told The Sun-Times in October. “But you know, I’m someone who favors term limits. And I don’t think people should stay in office indefinitely. I don’t think it’s good for them. And I don’t think that’s good for the organization they’re running.

When Ferguson was appointed by former mayor Richard M. Daley in 2009 to replace Inspector General David Hoffman, Lightfoot vouched for her friend Ferguson. Both are former federal prosecutors who worked in the Chicago office of the US attorney.

Ferguson noted in his resignation that he was allowing sufficient time to find a qualified replacement rather than appointing someone on an interim basis “during the course of a long selection process.”

He argued that “it serves the best interests of the public and all parties concerned to ensure sufficient time for an orderly transition and continuity of operations whose independence meets national standards.”

Ferguson declined to discuss his resignation on Friday afternoon. The resignation letter is dated Thursday and was sent to Lightfoot as well as Ald. Pat Dowell, Chair of the City Council Budget Committee and Ald. Michelle Smith, Chair of the Ethics and Government Oversight Committee.

His tenure was marked by aggressive watchdog work for Chicagoans.

Crain’s Chicago Business first announced Ferguson’s resignation on Friday afternoon.


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