Sept. 24, 2014

Mary Frances O’Connor (312) 821-9026
Robert Herguth (312) 821-9030

CHICAGO—The BGA is proud to announce our investigative staff is nominated for four 2013-14 Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards. The BGA was nominated along with media partners NBC 5, CBS2 and FOX 32 across three different categories. The nominated stories are:

In the Best Investigation category:
Disorder in the Courts – This is a series of 2013 investigations by the BGA’s Robert Herguth, Patrick McCraney and Patrick Rehkamp, and FOX 32’s Dane Placko, into trouble involving Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown and her office. Included in this series: A November 2013 investigation into a troubling deal where Brown received an essentially free commercial building, and an October 2013 investigation exposing massive problems with missing court records at Brown’s office. This series has already won a Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club, and a Herman Kogan Award from the Chicago Bar Association.

Also in the Best Investigation category:
Ambulance Response Times – The BGA’s Patrick Rehkamp teamed up with CBS2 on a series of stories beginning in February 2014 showing how Chicago’s trauma ambulances are taking far too long to respond to emergencies, in part because of an aging fleet. The BGA and CBS2 even found instances where wheels and a door fell off vehicles. The stories led to calls from aldermen to fix the issues.

In the Hard News Series category:
Something’s Fishy at State Agency – This February 2014 investigation by the BGA’s Patrick McCraney and NBC 5 was part of a series of NBC 5 stories nominated in the category. The BGA/NBC story exposed a high-ranking Illinois Department of Natural Resources official who was moonlighting as a professional fisherman while taking paid sick leave from the state, and the bizarre circumstances surrounding his firing.

In the Politics/Government category:
Security Showdown – The BGA’s Robert Herguth and FOX 32 teamed up on this September 2013 investigation showing how some Cook County judges were refusing to comply with security measures at Chicago’s Leighton Criminal Court Building, with one judge even going as far as calling 911 on a security officer after he was told to show ID.

Emmy winners will be announced in November, and the BGA will be looking to win a coveted statue for the third year in a row. Last year, our investigation Protect and Served? won along with NBC 5 in the Hard News category. That investigation found police union contracts in Illinois routinely allow officers to come to work with alcohol in their systems. In 2012, the BGA earned Emmy honors in the Education category along with FOX 32 for a story exposing a Chicago principal’s lavish travel spending.

The Better Government Association is a Chicago-based non-profit, non-partisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by exposing corruption and inefficiency; identifying and advocating effective public policy; and engaging and mobilizing the electorate to achieve authentic and responsible reform.