Patrick Blanchard was appointed to serve as the first Independent Inspector General for Cook County, Illinois following a selection and screening process administered by the Chicago and Cook County Bar Associations and bipartisan committee of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County. Mr. Blanchard was confirmed by the Board of Commissioners in October 2008. Mr. Blanchard was appointed to serve a second term in October 2014.
Prior to his confirmation as Inspector General, Mr. Blanchard served as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney from March 1993 to October 2008. During his tenure, Mr. Blanchard was assigned Division Chief of the Special Litigation Division and held several other supervisory positions within the Civil Actions Bureau of the office. There his practice included Employment Law, Civil Rights, Complex Litigation and Federal Litigation. His practice encompassed all aspects of trial and appellate litigation in both the State and Federal Court system and included numerous high profile matters. From 1990 to March 1993, Mr. Blanchard practiced law as an associate attorney with the Chicago firm of Clausen Miller Gorman Caffrey & Witous, P.C. concentrating in municipal law and subrogation.
Mr. Blanchard received his J.D. from the John Marshall Law School in 1990 and B.A. from Loyola University of Chicago in 1986. He is a Certified Inspector General of the National Association of Inspectors General. Mr. Blanchard has served as a Panel Chair of the Hearing Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court since 2008. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Blanchard also served as a Member of the Hearing Board from 2006 to 2008. Mr. Blanchard served as an Adjunct Professor on the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology in its Graduate Program in Public Administration teaching Public Administration Law from 2006-2013. Effective January 1, 2014, Mr. Blanchard was elected to serve as the President of the Association of Inspectors General, Illinois Chapter, for a two year term and, effective January 1, 2015, Mr. Blanchard began serving on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Inspectors General.
Steven E. Cyranoski
Steven E. Cyranoski serves as General Counsel of the OIIG. Mr. Cyranoski provides legal advice to OIIG management and investigators and addresses all legal issues relating to office operations. Mr. Cyranoski also serves as the OIIG’s Employment Plan Officer and Freedom of Information Act Officer.
Mr. Cyranoski has practiced law for over 20 years handling litigation matters in both state and federal trial and appellate courts. Prior to joining the OIIG in 2009, Mr. Cyranoski was a partner at Freeborn & Peters LLP and at the Chicago office of Michael, Best & Friedrich LLP.
Mr. Cyranoski graduated with honors from the Villanova University School of Law where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Moot Court Board. Mr. Cyranoski obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Joseph K. Norris
Deputy Inspector General
General Investigation Division
Joseph K. Norris serves as Deputy Inspector General of the General Investigations Division of the OIIG. Prior to joining the office, Mr. Norris served as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 25 years where he acquired significant experience in Internal Affairs and Health Care Fraud, in addition to 15 years experience serving in various supervisory positions. Upon the completion of his 25 year career with the FBI, Mr. Norris served as an Assistant to the Special Agent In-Charge with the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS). In this capacity, Mr. Norris was responsible for Air Marshal training as well as establishing the administrative structure for the agency in the aftermath of 9/11. Following his 5 year tenure with the FAMS, Mr. Norris briefly worked for Alpha Protective Services conducting compliance inspections on airports nationwide. Mr. Norris began service with the OIIG in May 2009.
Mr. Norris graduated from East Carolina University with a B.A. in Political Science and Widener University Law School with a J.D.
Tirrell J. Paxton
Deputy Inspector General
Audit and Compliance Division
Tirrell J. Paxton serves as Deputy Inspector General of the Audit and Compliance Division of the OIIG. Mr. Paxton’s duties involve planning and conducting government investigations, audits, surveys, and regulatory compliance projects. Before joining the OIIG, Mr. Paxton held positions as an auditor and Senior Fraud Investigator at Ernst & Young LLP where he performed audits, compliance reviews, internal investigations and financial and economic loss assessments for private industry. Mr. Paxton also held positions at DLA Piper Rudnick as an associate attorney concentrating in bankruptcy law. Prior to joining DLA, Mr. Paxton served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Ronald Barliant of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Paxton graduated from Jackson State University with an accounting degree and received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Paxton is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Mr. Paxton began his service with the OIIG in January 2010.