Throughout her career, Kelly has been meticulous about separating her campaign activities from her government work. When she ran for state treasurer in 2010, she subtracted from her time sheets any activities that could be considered election-related. In this campaign, she resigned from her job in Cook County to run full time. That’s rare among Illinois politicians.
More important, it demonstrates the ethical compass 2nd District voters need and deserve.
After Robin Kelly lost a 2010 bid for state treasurer, the office’s chief investigator alleged she violated ethics laws by improperly reporting time off from her taxpayer-funded job as chief of staff to then-Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Tribune has learned.
Kelly, now a top contender in Tuesday’s special Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District race to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr., was at the center of an investigation by the treasurer’s executive inspector general into whether timekeeping violations took place as she campaigned for treasurer, records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show.
The inspector general also requested an audit after Dan Rutherford was sworn in…
The treasurer’s personnel rules required all of a worker’s time off to be approved ahead of time by a supervisor. But from August 2009 through December 2010 — when Kelly was campaigning for treasurer — Kelly filed 107 requests for unpaid time off, the audit found. Of those requests, 82 percent were not approved by a supervisor, but by a human resources director who reported to Kelly, the audit found. Many of those requests were submitted well after the time off had already been taken, the audit found.
In addition, the audit stated that 19 of Kelly’s 24 monthly time-off calendars in 2009-10 were OK’d before her time-off requests had received final approval. It also found 17 of those 24 calendars were approved late and three were never approved.
It appeared Kelly “could come and go as she pleased without consequence,” Ringler wrote. “It also appears that (her time-off) calendars were made to match the times that they needed to, in order to end up with a 35-hour work week and/or 7-hour day, because of the number of times they were approved, reversed, reapproved, reversed again, approved a third time, etc.”
Too late for Toi Hutchinson, unfortunately.
* And speaking of Hutchinson, the Kankakee Daily Journal is upset that so many people wasted their votes on her during early balloting…
(T)he withdrawal pretty much insults the local Kankakee County Democratic Party, which endorsed her, and those Republican officials who had expressed support for her. It becomes very clear, on the scale of district politics, the local influence here is as light as a feather on the scale.
* Meanwhile, this is pretty odd. Candidate Anthony Beale attacked President Obama’s gun record in a press release slap at Kelly…
In an unusual turn for a candidate seeking election next week in a heavily African American District, the Beale statement, released Tuesday, went on to question President Obama’s commitment to reducing gun violence.
“All of my opponents are saying I will stand with the President, but President Obama needs to stand with us in Chicago,” Beale says in the statement. “We never stopped fighting this fight.”
It then cites a series of articles that question Obama’s past positions on gun control, then points back to Beale: “By comparison, Anthony Beale’s record on guns is the strongest and most consistent of anyone in this race for the 2nd CD.”
That includes Christian Science Monitor article in September 2012: In making that comparison (gun control records of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney) Obama has only ever signed laws “expanding gun owners’ rights.”
“It’s not so shocking then that the Brady Campaign “gave Obama an F” in January 2010,” Beale’s statement concludes.
*** UPDATE *** Despite Ald. Beales’ press release, he says in his new TV ad that he will “work with President Obama” for stronger gun laws. Watch…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* But there’s a serious contradiction in Beale’s gun stance. This is what he told NBC5 a while back…
Q: What kind of guns do you own?
A: A 30-.06 rifle, and 1187 Remington shotgun, and a 9 millimeter Glock. As aldermen, were legally allowed to carry [handguns]. I don’t carry, but under the city ordinance and the state law, we have the right to carry a concealed weapon.
Q: Do you think the entire state should pass that law?
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Why not? If it’s OK for aldermen, why not the general public.
A: An alderman is a sworn peace officer, and we have to go through 40 hours training in order to obtain the license. I’ve even taken 20 hours additional training. [Emphasis added.]
“You gotta remember, I didn’t own anything [guns] prior to being an alderman,” he said. “As alderman, I still have the right, because I’m a sworn officer.”
But state law and rules were changed in the late 1990s to require aldermen to undergo 400 hours of training — just like police officers — to become “conservators of the peace.” Beale’s campaign acknowledged the alderman never took that training, but Beale said he now has a Chicago firearms permit. [Emphasis added.]
* Where Rahm Emanuel Stands On 2nd District Race: Insiders also note Emanuel is in a tight spot with Ald. Anthony Beale being a leading candidate. Emanuel does not want to be perceived as turning on one of his alderman, especially with Ald. Carrie Austin, Michelle Harris and John Pope all supporting Beale.
===just like Robert Shaw was “inspector general”===
Nope. It’s in state statutes and they carry a badge.
- Just Observing - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 12:36 pm:
Yea, Rich, I’m aware that they are legally considered peace officers. Just like Robert Shaw was legally the inspector general. My point was that both are silly premises. No (or few) Alderman is running around as a peace officer, making arrests, etc. Beale’s contention that he needs a gun as a peace officer is mere hypocrisy.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 12:43 pm:
As “TII” (This is Illinois”) is used as an excuse for the way things are, “TI2″ (”This is the Second District”) can also be used here. After Triple J’s infractions, Robin Kelly’s absences from work seem like minor stuff. It’s not like the bar is set too high.
- Kasich Walker, Jr. - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 1:05 pm:
Chicago Tonight had “part 2″ of their Dem debate, this time featuring Mel Reynolds, Ernest Fenton, Anthony Williams, & Joyce Washington.
Each of these candidates were expressed greater concern on the focus of “guns, guns, guns” in this campaign rather than addressing the causes of the violence.
Once again, Anthony Walker was the only candidate to speak against building an airport in Peotone.
- Kasich Walker, Jr. - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 1:22 pm:
I am in agreement with Joyce Washington. If we want the Second Congressional District to serve as Mayor Bloomberg’s proxy battlefield to help him implement his personal beliefs, then where does it end? Is Mayor Bloomberg next going to hit the air waves with commercial/political ads that influence 2nd Congressional voters to ban large size soft drinks in the interest of the nation’s health? Will Robin Kelly be asked by him to initiate the legislation required since he helped her get elected? Bloomberg needs to keep his nose in New York. He has enough problems there to work on. Bloomberg can always move to Illinois and run against Rahm and buy his next election.