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City Council Committee: Increase Fine for Impersonating a City Employee

CHICAGO- Ald. Lona Lane (18th) proposed a revised ordinance Tuesday that would increase the fine for employees who fail to turn in city badges after they leave their jobs.

Lane presented to the Chicago City Council Committee on Workforce Development and Audit, which is chaired by Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th). Lane said she realized the revised ordinance was needed after an individual continued to present himself as a city employee after his employment ended.

Ald. Lona Lane (18th); Photo credit: NBC Chicago

“He pretended as though he was still working for me,” Lane said.

According to city attorney Jeff Levine, the worker intended to mislead the public.

The proposed revision to the municipal code would increase the fine for impersonating a city employee from $10 to $1,000.

Impersonating a city employee could “potentially include a criminal act,” O’Connor said.

Other committee members spoke in support of the revised ordinance.

The City Council Committee, photo credit: Laura Grunke

“We need to make sure for the safety of the city that these [work] badges come back,” said Ald. Emma Mitts (37th).

Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) said a former employee who commits such an offense “should be put away.”

He also wanted employees to be required to turn in their badges before receiving their final paycheck to guarantee the return of credentials.

The ordinance was tabled after O’Connor asked Levine to refine the language used in the ordinance. Levine was asked to adjust the ordinance to include other forms of identification along with badges.

The revised ordinance will be on voted on Oct. 8 by the committee, and if approved, forwarded to the full city council meeting.

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