White House Puts Hold on Chicago Alderman's 'Champion of Change' Award
On July 22, Chicago Alderman Joe Moore was to have received an award for "political reform" at the White House. Moore, however, was a no-show in D.C. because on that same day he admitted that he had been interviewed by the FBI in an investigation into political corruption. Now the White House announced that it is putting Moore's award on hold until his status with these charges are settled.
Moore was to have been honored as a "a pioneer for political reform, governmental transparency and democratic governance" until the charges against him became known in Washington.
The Alderman has been accused of political payoffs and waste. The allegations came to light in a report by Chicago's city council watchdog Inspector General Faisal Khan in his semi-annual Legislative Inspector General report.
According to the Inspector General's report, in 2007 Alderman Moore fired his chief of staff but allegedly paid him $13,497 more than he was due based on the computation of sick days, vacation days, etc. In another case, Alderman Moore allegedly paid a woman $8,709 in hush money in 2009 to quiet her claims that political work was being done illegally out of Moore's offices.
Moore admitted to Chicago media that he had spoken to the FBI about the Inspector General's report, and in a statement he insisted that they are "false accusations."
By Wednesday, July 24, the White House announced that it was putting a hold on Moore's award.
"We did not honor him as a Champion of Change today and will hold that honor until we know the results of his investigation," a White House official told the Chicago Tribune.
Moore claimed that he took part in the decision to hold off on the award.
"I met with White House staff in the morning and together we came to the conclusion that given the timing of this that it’s best not to cast a shadow over this wonderful event and that we would come back another day to accept the award," the Alderman said.
Inspector General Khan reported that his office forwarded the charges and findings to the FBI. After interviewing Alderman Moore, the FBI has said that he is not "a target" at this time.
Photo source: Ald. Joe Moore Facebook