CHICAGO (December 15, 2017) – Pro Publica and the Chicago Tribune have done tremendous work in making public the Chicago Police Department’s secretive and dysfunctional arbitration process for officers facing disciplinary action.

The Chicago police arbitration process is fundamentally broken, and it completely undermines the integrity of the disciplinary process. It is clear that Chicago police officers have come to view the arbitration process as a likely path to reducing punishments, or even avoiding them entirely.

As further detailed in the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force report released last year, these arbitration proceedings are conducted in secret, and the Police Department has no system in place to track these cases and their outcomes. Disciplinary actions imposed on police officers after thorough investigations of alleged misconduct, followed by many layers of review, can be diminished – or overturned entirely – by a group of arbitrators who have no accountability to the people of Chicago.

Once again, we see the enormous problems that result when government actions are conducted in secrecy, behind closed doors. As Attorney General, I will fight for transparency and accountability to strengthen the legitimacy of our core democratic institutions and make sure that our government – and especially our elected and appointed leaders – are open and responsive to ordinary citizens.

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