November 12, 2009 By News Report
Jim Argiropoulos resigned as first deputy commissioner of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to avoid being fired, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In September, the inspector general's office recommended that he be fired for allegedly engineering a scheme that culminated in the falsification of documents to expedite the purchase of a new 911 dispatch console system from Motorola. The contract irregularities cost Chicago taxpayers $2.25 million, and so far no equipment has been delivered to the city.
The falsifications allegedly occurred in 2005, when Ron Huberman was executive director of the OEMC. Huberman is now accused of failing to properly supervise the contract. He is currently CEO of the Chicago Public Schools. Adrienne Hiegel, Huberman's top deputy at the OEMC at the time, was allegedly in on the scheme as well as Argiropoulos. She currently works for the Chicago Public Schools and has been ordered to take a 30-day suspension.
Argiropoulos began his career as a 911 dispatcher at 15 years old, and then worked for a decade as a paramedic in Kentucky. As first deputy commissioner of the OEMC, he oversaw Chicago's video surveillance system, Operation Virtual Shield, which operated more than 3,000 video cameras across the city. Chicago also had a Unified Command Vehicle, technology-packed truck designed to deliver the functions of the city's Emergency Operations Center directly to disaster sites.
For more information, read the Chicago Sun-Times' article.