A major ethics ordinance passed the Chicago City Council on Wednesday. This marked the second time since Mayor Lori Lightfoot was elected that a major ethics reform became law — not due to her initiative, true, but progress is progress.

Minutes later, Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, rose to soliloquize about the honor and integrity of World War II veterans. Yes, that Burke — the selfsame one indicted on multiple federal counts of public corruption — orating practically within arm’s reach of Lightfoot’s high-backed leather chair.

Just a few steps closer, and Lightfoot could have reached out and throttled the man.

The tableaux couldn’t have been more striking: The mayor marks an important step forward on ethics, while the council’s longest-serving alderman, a living embodiment of corruption (if the charges are true), holds forth as if nothing has changed.

Read more at the chicagotribune.com.

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.