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Joliet appoints Regis for inspector general

Brock A. Stein | 1/6/2016, 10:37 a.m.
A former police officer and current Will County Assistant State's Attorney will be the City of Joliet's new ispector general ...
Will County assistant State's Attorney Chris Regis.

Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Regis has been appointed to be the inspector general for the City of Joliet.

Regis, who will also serve as assistant corporate council for the city, will be paid $120,000 in the newly created position. The possibility of Regis taking on the role was discussed late in 2015 by Joliet council members and Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.

“It’s not a secret,” said O’Dekirk in announcing the appointment Tuesday night.

“I’ve Known Chris for a long time on a professional basis,” said the mayor, who, like Regis, was a Joliet Police officer before becoming an attorney. Regis served as an officer for the city from 1991 to 2000 according to his bio on the Will County State’s Attorney website.

O’Dekirk called Regis a “man of integrity” and cited his effectiveness as an attorney as “one of the top prosecutors in Will County.”

O’Dekirk said that it was Regis’ experience as both an officer and attorney and his familiarity with the city and Will County that made him the ideal candidate for the job of changing “the culture of city hall.”

O’Dekirk said that Regis’ post as inspector general will help maintain “honest and open government.”

The primary task of the inspector general said O’Dekirk in December will be to investigate potential fraud within the city.

Regis’s potential candidacy for the position has been known publicly since November when his name was leaked after being discussed by the council in executive session, a fact that was lamented by O’Dekirk before the council voted on creating the position at the end of December.

“If the name itself can’t be kept confidential it’s hard to believe how an ongoing investigation would be,” said the mayor at the time.

Creating the position of inspector general was a promise that O’Dekirk made when he campaigned in the mayoral election in April 2015.

Regis is a graduate of Lewis University and earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School in Wisconsin.

A search of the Illinois Board of Elections web site shows that Regis made 4 contributions totaling $1100 to O’Dekirk’s election campaign, Citizens for O’Dekirk, in 2014 and 2015 ranging from $150 to $450.

Joliet resident Robert Webb thinks that the hiring is unnecessary pointing out that the State of Illinois already retains an inspector general that could investigate city departments if necessary and one that isn’t employed by Joliet.

“It doesn’t make any sense economically,” said Webb.

brock@thetimesweekly.com or on Twitter @BrockAStein