Ricardo Meza, Executive Inspector General
On September 7, 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Mr. Meza as acting executive inspector general for the agencies of the Illinois governor. On November 17, 2010, the Illinois Senate confirmed Mr. Meza’s appointment. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Meza was the midwest regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Chicago. While at MALDEF, Mr. Meza led the office’s litigation and public policy matters in 10 Midwestern states. Mr. Meza also served over 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office, primarily in its Chicago office where he tried over 30 federal criminal trials. Mr. Meza was a law clerk to the late Honorable Wendell C. Radford, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas and also served as an assistant attorney general II, where he represented the State of Texas and the Comptroller of Public Accounts on tax related matters. Mr. Meza received his BA in political science from Illinois State University and obtained his law degree from The John Marshall Law School, where he was a staff member of the Software Law Journal, and president of the Hispanic Law Students Association. Mr. Meza is a 2007 Fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Program and also sits on the boards of directors for non-profit organizations.
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Cole S. Kain, Chief of Staff and General Counsel
Cole S. Kain has more than fifteen years experience investigating and litigating employee dishonesty and fraud claims involving commercial businesses and financial institutions as a partner in a Chicago law firm. An industry leader, he has authored and edited numerous publications addressing employee dishonesty and fraud. He is editor of Annotated Commercial Crime Policy (2d ed.), a book published by the American Bar Association in 2006. Cole was graduated from The University of Iowa (BA), The John Marshall Law School (JD, with high distinction) and New York University School of Law (LL M). He is a former law clerk to the late Honorable Dominick L. DiCarlo, Chief Judge, United States Court of International Trade.
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Erin K. Bonales, Deputy Inspector General and Chief of Chicago Division
Ms. Bonales is responsible for directing and overseeing the investigations conducted out of the Chicago office, and serves as a legal advisor to the EIG and his staff on OEIG operations and functions. Prior to joining the OEIG in May 2006, Ms. Bonales was an assistant general counsel for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for approximately five years. In that capacity, Ms. Bonales advised and assisted the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and outside counsel in representing IDHS in federal and state courts, as well as various administrative tribunals; rendered legal advice to management and staff on the agency’s administrative and programmatic functions; and represented IDHS in administrative matters. Ms. Bonales received a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law, and a BA in political science from Southern Illinois University.
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Neil P. Olson, Deputy Inspector General and Chief of Springfield Division
Mr. Olson joined the Office of Executive Inspector General in February 2010 after spending the majority of his legal career working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was formerly an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where he represented state agencies in federal and state court litigation. He received the office’s Francis X. Belotti Award for Excellence in 2007. Mr. Olson also served as a staff attorney at the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, where he investigated and prosecuted cases of judicial misconduct. In addition to his state government experience, Mr. Olson was a litigator at Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, and specialized in labor and employment law. Mr. Olson began his legal career as the law clerk to the Honorable Kenneth Laurence of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He is a graduate of Grinnell College and Northeastern University School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and Illinois.
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David E. Keahl, Director of Ethics Training and Compliance
Mr. Keahl joined the Office of Executive Inspector General in October 2003. Mr. Keahl is responsible for the establishment of standards for and oversight of ethics training for the officials, employees, and appointees of the state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, and state public universities under the OEIG's jurisdiction as required by the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Prior to joining the OEIG, Mr. Keahl worked in the telecommunications industry for 27 years. There he directed activities related to corporate planning, accounting, finance, regulatory affairs, engineering and human resources, and has considerable experience in managing matters related to organizational governance, internal controls, and legal/regulatory compliance. Mr. Keahl is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
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Wendy L. Washington, Director of Human Resources
Ms. Washington has over 27 years of state government experience in various administrative and human resource positions. She joined the OEIG in July, 2003 shortly after the agency was created and was instrumental in establishing the agency. Ms. Washington currently serves as the director of human resources with responsibility for all personnel related matters including but not limited to, employee relations, recruitment, payroll and group insurance. Ms. Washington also serves as the equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer for the OEIG and is a former board member of the Illinois Affirmative Action Officers Association. She received her bachelor of arts degree from DePaul University in business administration with a concentration in human resources; is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and maintains her certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).
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Rochelle M. Hardy, Chief Financial and Compliance Officer
With a professional background and 31 years in management, accounting, finance, information technology and professional development of staff in both government and the private sector, Ms. Hardy brings a unique and valuable perspective to the Office of Executive Inspector General. She previously served as the chief fiscal officer for the Illinois State Police and as its deputy director of administration, creating the pilot Shared Service Public Safety Center, consolidating seven public safety agencies, and providing fiscal and HR business process redesign for statewide systems. Also, she created the Kenosha County data center and worked for six years as the director of information systems for County of Kenosha (WI). Prior to joining state government, Ms. Hardy held various positions in the private sector including manager of accounting for L'Oreal USA; senior accountant/controller with Walgreens, and manager of consulting services with Washington, Pittman and McKeever. She received her bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Roosevelt University and her master of business administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Business, with concentrations in information technology and finance. She is an active member of the National Association of Black Accountants and the National Black MBA Association.
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