Last week, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel took away his access to city credit cards, cars and the police officers assigned to drive them. On Tuesday, Chicago Housing Authority chief executive officer Lewis Jordan announced his resignation following allegations of some shady credit card use on the city's dime.
Jordan and his department was the subject of a Better Government Association (BGA)/FOX Chicago investigation that uncovered widespread city worker misuse of credit cards, which were allegedly used for pricey dinners at upscale restaurants, gift cards, flowers, red light camera tickets and a suite at the United Center.
In his resignation letter, Jordan wrote that "this [credit card] issue has become an impediment to my ability to steer this $1 billion a year organization [and] … over the past two weeks questions about the propriety of credit card use have overshadowed the good and important work of CHA," the Chicago Tribune reports.
Jordan maintains that the charges reported in the investigation, totaling approximately $15,000 over three years, were made in a way that was "consistent with CHA and HUD policies and practices."
Andy Shaw, BGA executive director, however, described the investigation's findings as "disgraceful" in a June 7 statement.
"Obviously the CHA Board was out to lunch when the administration was out to dinner. And as a result they missed this, and a lot of poor people suffer when money is spent this way," Shaw said.
Mayor Emanuel has pledged to push for increased accountability and ethics within city government and had launched a widespread review of city credit card usage. He had previously refused to give Jordan a vote of confidence until he had seen a full review of his department's finances.
Prior to his resignation, Jordan was one of the top remaining holdovers from former Mayor Daley's administration.
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