CHICAGO — Chicago’s inspector general is alleging city workers schemed to set aside free street parking for family and friends during professional hockey and basketball games.

In a quarterly report, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson says Office of Emergency Management and Communications personnel blocked streets near the United Center and granted access to those they preferred. They directed members of the public to park elsewhere.

The report says the inspector general’s office conducted surveillance of Wood street during Chicago Blackhawks games and before Chicago Bulls games. It says evidence indicates the scheme was happening elsewhere in the city.

While Ferguson called for the OEMC to fire several employees involved in the scheme, the department instead suspended them from between five and 30 days.

OEMC Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said the violations predated her tenure and she will work to ensure the scam is not repeated.

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