CHICAGO – August 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointment of Ricardo Meza to head the Office of Executive Inspector General (OEIG). Meza is the Midwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney. Meza replaces an Inspector General whose term expired in 2008.
“Day-in and day-out, my administration is committed to making state government ethical, transparent and accountable,” said Governor Quinn. “Ricardo Meza will help me continue to hold employees of the state of Illinois to the highest ethical standards.”
As Midwest Regional Counsel for MALDEF, a national civil rights organization, Meza has led its litigation and policy efforts in ten Midwestern states. In 2008, he received the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s El Humanitario Award. Meza also serves on the boards of directors for a number of community organizations.
Meza served for more than a decade in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted more than 30 federal criminal trials involving public corruption, mail, wire and bank fraud as well as narcotics, arson and bank robbery cases. He was also assigned as an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator for the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.
“It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to serve the citizens of the state of Illinois,” said Meza, an alumnus of Illinois State University and The John Marshall Law School.
The Office of Executive Inspector General is an independent agency that investigates Illinois Ethics Act violations, fraud, waste, abuse and misconduct in state government. The office also provides and coordinates ethics training for all state employees under its jurisdiction. It has jurisdiction over all state agencies, boards, and commissions under the jurisdiction of the Governor, including the state’s public universities. It receives, self-initiates and investigates complaints of violations of law, rule or regulation. It also investigates claims of abuse of authority or other forms of misconduct by officers, employees and appointees of state agencies under its jurisdiction. The office has jurisdiction over vendors and others who do business with the state.
Thanks to stronger ethics law signed by Governor Quinn, many of the OEIG’s reports can now be found on the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission’s website at Illinois.gov/EEC. Visit InspectorGeneral.Illinois.gov for other reports from the OEIG and information about its ongoing efforts to strengthen government ethics and accountability.