James M. Sullivan, JD, CFE, CIG is a director in Sikich’s dispute advisory service area and managing director in Sikich’s investigation area. In this role, Jim conducts investigations of alleged fraud, evaluates systems and procedures for control weaknesses, and recommends appropriate controls to prevent fraud.
He served for 12 years as the Inspector General for the Chicago Board of Education, the third-largest public education system in the country. During his tenure, Jim’s office investigated and exposed multi-million dollar fraud schemes committed by vendors resulting in criminal convictions and the civil recovery of funds from the unscrupulous contractors. Jim also conducted and led investigations that uncovered some of the largest employee orchestrated theft schemes in local government and successfully worked with prosecutors to secure criminal charges. As Inspector General, Jim also served as a member of the Chicago Board of Education’s Audit Committee. Before being appointed Inspector General, Jim was a Deputy Inspector General at the Chicago Board of Education and the City of Chicago. Jim began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, successfully handling hundreds of bench and jury trials and appellate arguments.
Jim has been a long-time board member of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG), serving a term as the AIG’s second vice president. Jim has spoken at numerous AIG national training conferences and also presented on a paper he co-authored, Search and Seizure Issues Raised in Investigations of Workplace Misconduct: O’Connor v. Ortega and Its Progeny. For more than 10 years, Jim trained other Inspectors General, executive level staff, investigators and auditors in the AIG’s certification institutes. As a founding member of the Illinois Chapter of the Association of Inspectors General, Jim served as the organization’s president and has helped train local IG staff members, investigators and auditors.
In his role as Inspector General, Jim has been a guest on Chicago Tonight (WTTW), Politics Tonight (WGN) and other local news shows and has discussed investigations conducted by his office in a variety of print and online news outlets.
Areas of Expertise
- Forensic Investigations
- Government & School District Investigations
- Association of Inspectors General
- Illinois Chapter of the Association of Inspectors General
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
- Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice, Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine University)
- Juris Doctor, John Marshall Law School
- Certified Inspector General, Association of Inspectors General
- CFE, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners