City Hall's Cop

Posted: September 20, 2007

THERE ARE a lot of dumb reasons to put the brakes on a bill that would grant independence to the city's inspector general's office. For example, turf wars between the functions of the inspector general, which investigates corruption in certain City Hall offices, and the offices of the controller and the district attorney have led to arguments about how "confusing" it could be to have too many people ferretting out corruption. (Is such a thing even possible?)

Others argue that granting the inspector general independence would create a patronage position that would soon stink of cronyism. If we can't trust a city agency to not hire cronies, then we're in bigger trouble than we thought.

That said, there are also a few smart reasons to delay a bill authored by Councilwoman Carol Campbell that would put this charter change question on November's ballot. Time could help clarify the role of the inspector general, and craft intentional ways for all watchdogs to play nicely and effectively together.

We hope Campbell considers holding the bill and reintroducing it as a question on the spring ballot. Making the inspector general office independent, with resources, is critical. A short delay could help do it right. *

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