MAYOR EMANUEL ANNOUNCES EDWARD SISKEL AS NEW CORPORATION COUNSEL
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today named Edward N. Siskel as the new Corporation Counsel for the Chicago Department of Law (DOL) and will submit his nomination for City Council approval. Siskel will replace Stephen R. Patton, who has served as Corporation Counsel since 2011 and is stepping down to pursue other professional endeavors. While he committed to serve through the completion of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Patton implemented a succession plan several months ago to ensure a smooth transition.
“Over the past six years, Steve has worked tirelessly on behalf of the city, and approached every issue, every case and every question with integrity. He helped us achieve compliance with the Shakman Accord, which ended years of federal hiring oversight and ensured that city jobs will go to the candidates that are the most qualified, not the most connected. He helped close the chapter on Jon Burge, helped create the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, worked closely with the U.S. Department of Justice on their investigation into the Chicago Police Department and negotiated a landmark agreement with Pfizer around the marketing of prescription opioids,” said Mayor Emanuel. “While his departure is not immediate, when Steve does leave, he will be able to do so knowing his work made a difference for Chicago and its residents.”
As the City’s top lawyer, Patton played a key role in a number of critical issues, including many that had plagued the City for decades. He helped resolve the Shakman lawsuit, which had been pending for 45 years by working closely with the Inspector General and Federal Monitor to reach substantial compliance with the Shakman Accord in June of 2014. Further, in response to the disgraceful actions of former police commander Jon Burge, Patton helped to craft a sweeping reparations package to support Burge victims and their families. Patton has also been committed to realizing important police accountability reforms through his work to help create COPA and supporting the DOJ’s investigation into CPD. After filing a groundbreaking lawsuit against five pharmaceutical manufacturers for misrepresenting the benefits of prescription opioids and concealing the serious health risks associated with these drugs in 2014, Patton helped to negotiate an agreement last year with Pfizer, Inc, which was not named in the 2014 lawsuit, to commit the company to strict standards for the marketing and promotion of prescription opioids. Under his watch, the law department also helped to create regulations around emerging industries, including home sharing and ride sharing.
“Having started my legal career in Chicago, I look forward to coming home and returning to public service on behalf of the City and its residents,” said Siskel. “The work of the Law Department has significant impact on people’s quality of life, and I’m looking forward to serving the people of Chicago.”
Siskel is currently a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., where he provides strategic advice to clients in response to government enforcement actions, internal investigations, regulatory and congressional proceedings and complex litigation. He has previously served at the highest levels of government, working as Deputy White House Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President, as an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the DOJ, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Although WilmerHale represented the City during the recently completed DOJ investigation into CPD, Siskel was not part of the team that represented the City. Siskel earned a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
DOL provides legal representation to the City and its various departments to protect public safety and maximize the quality of life for Chicago residents; to minimize the City’s exposure to financial liability for claims and lawsuits; and to seek revenue and savings for the benefit of its taxpayers.
Siskel’s appointment is subject to City Council approval. He will begin in an interim capacity in mid-February.