The city of Chicago is planning to create a legal team dedicated to suing corporations and other organizations that it believes violate the law, a move that officials have said will fill the breach created by President Donald Trump's administration.
The city's corporation counsel, Edward Siskel, told the Chicago Tribune that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Law Department will have an "affirmative litigation" unit as part of next year's budget. Four attorneys will be permanently assigned to the unit.
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Siskel said the unit will also use other city lawyers and outside counsel as needed.
The city is currently suing Uber and Equifax for their slow response to data breaches. The city's lawsuit alleges that hundreds of thousands of Chicago residents could have been harmed by the exposure.
Emanuel said this month that he also intends to sue U.S. Steel after one of the company's northwest Indiana plants spilled toxic metal into a waterway less than 20 miles (32 kilometers) from one of the city's Lake Michigan water intakes.
Siskel said the unit should serve to bring a return on the city's financial investment.
"If the federal government is not going to play their role in enforcement, we're going to step into that void and do what we need to do to protect the residents of Chicago, to protect the economic lifeblood of the city of Chicago against any threat to it," Siskel said.
The newspaper said the U.S. Department of Justice didn't comment on Chicago's affirmative litigation policy.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com