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City watchdog vows not to run for mayor for at least two years after leaving office

Inspector General Joe Fergus |  Sun-Times file photo

Inspector General Joe Ferguson | Sun-Times file photo

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Updated: November 20, 2012 11:12AM

Inspector General Joe Ferguson has a strained relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but the two men will apparently not be facing off against each other in the 2015 mayoral election.

Under questioning Thursday at City Council budget hearings, Ferguson promised not to run for any public office that includes the city of Chicago for at least two years after stepping down as inspector general.

Ferguson’s four-year term is due to expire in November 2013. That means if he serves out his term, he would not be eligible to run for mayor in February 2015.

Former Inspector General David Hoffman was a constant thorn in the side of former Mayor Richard M. Daley before using the notoriety he gained as Chicago’s corruption-fighting inspector general to run for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Hoffman lost the nomination to Alexi Giannoulias, who finished with 39 percent of the vote to Hoffman’s 34 percent. The Senate seat was ultimately won by Republican Mark Kirk.

Ferguson has a similarly frosty relationship with Emanuel, fueling speculation that the current inspector general could follow his predecessor into politics.

That’s apparently why Ald. “Proco” Joe Moreno (1st) pressed the issue during Thursday’s hearing.

“That’s the best practice for IGs generally, and I think it should be something that is standard. With respect to me, individually, I think it’s unfortunate that everyone feels they need to ask the question each year, because it just shouldn’t be an issue at all,” Ferguson said. “The answer for me is, any elected position no matter what, yes,” meaning he will not run for it for at least two years after he leaves office.

Apparently referring to Hoffman, Ferguson said, “I hope you asked him those questions when he was being confirmed.”

Moreno countered, “I wasn’t on the Council at the time sir. I didn’t have the opportunity to ask because I wasn’t here.”

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