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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Ethics Commission

Article V of the Ethics Ordinance establishes an Ethics Commission consisting of three members appointed by the Executive Director, with the advice and consent of the Board of Commissioners.

Jose A. Lopez, Trisha M. Rich, and Kevin L. Hopkins are the three members of the MWRD’s Ethics Commission.  Mr. Lopez is a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie in Chicago, Ms. Rich is a partner at the law firm of Holland & Knight in Chicago, and Mr. Hopkins is a professor at UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

The Ethics Commission is responsible for accepting complaints under the MWRD’s Ethics Ordinance, which regulates political activities and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by MWRD officers and employees. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the powers of the Ethics Commission may include, but are not limited to: investigation, conducting hearings and deliberations, issuing recommendations for disciplinary actions, and imposing fines. Note that the Ethics Commission shall, however, act only upon the receipt of a written complaint alleging a violation of the Ethics Ordinance and not upon its own prerogative.

Ethics Commission’s meeting schedule, agendas, and minutes of past meetings

Rules and Regulations relating to the Ethics Commission

A complaint may be filed with the Ethics Commission by:

  1. Emailing the written complaint as an attachment to, or
  2. Mailing the written complaint via U.S. Mail to:

               Jose A. Lopez
               Perkins Coie LLP
               131 South Dearborn Street, Suite 1700
               Chicago, IL 60603-5559

Ethics Advisor

Article V of the Ethics Ordinance authorizes the designation of an Ethics Advisor to provide guidance to officers and employees concerning the interpretation of and compliance with the provisions of the Ethics Ordinance and State ethics laws. Susan T. Morakalis, General Counsel, is the MWRD’s Ethics Advisor. MWRD officers and employees requiring guidance concerning the interpretation and compliance with the provisions of the Ethics Ordinance and State ethics laws can contact Susan T. Morakalis by email at or by phone 312-751-6557.

Ethics Ordinance

The Illinois Ethics Act regulates ethical conduct, political activities, and the making and acceptance of gifts by governmental officers and employees. The Illinois Ethics Act required units of local government to pass ordinances regulating political activities and the making and accepting of gifts by their officers and employees in a manner no less restrictive than the Act.

Pursuant to the mandate of the Illinois Ethics Act, MWRD’s Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 04-001, known as the Ethics Ordinance. As part of its commitment to the highest standards  of legal and ethical conduct in its operations, the Board amended the Ordinance on January 23, 2020. Amended provisions include heightened conflict of interest provisions and lobbyist registration and reporting requirements.

Ethics Ordinance as amended April 7, 2022