In December the City Council’s police and fire committee began a crucial debate over how to improve the police board, the body of mayoral appointees that makes the final decisions—behind closed doors—on whether to fire officers found guilty of serious misconduct. But no action was taken then because Alderman Isaac Carothers, the committee chairman and a key ally of Mayor Daley’s, wanted more time to think about it.

Four months later Carothers is on his way to prison and the police board discussion has been shelved while aldermen await further orders from the mayor.