SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Lang withdraws from gaming bill sponsorship

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

* Rockford Register Star reporter Isaac Guerrero heard last night (as did I) that Rep. Lou Lang had withdrawn his sponsorship from the gaming bill. The withdrawal was apparently no coincidence

It was late Monday evening when I learned of this turn of events. Hours earlier I had asked Rockford City Legal Director Patrick Hayes if there was any connection between Rockford’s inclusion in the gaming bill and the city’s employment of the law firm that Lang works for.

Lang is of counsel at Odelson and Sterk, which the city hired last summer to handle some of its worker’s compensation legal matters. The city actually hired two firms to do the work, Odelson and Sterk based in Evergreen Park and Heyl Royster based here in Rockford.

Hayes said there’s no connection between the city’s casino bid and the City Council’s decision last year to hire Odelson and Sterk. Moreover, Hayes said, Lang doesn’t handle any of the city’s worker’s compensation matters. That work is handled by two of Odelson and Sterk’s other attorneys – Michael Stillman and Burt Odelson.

Eight law firms submitted bids last year to provide the city legal representation with respect to worker’s compensation matters. Odelson and Sterk, Hayes told me, did not submit the lowest bid. But when it comes to certain professional services, especially legal services, qualifications, experience and performance of the bidder are often more important to the city than lowest cost. That was the case with this bid, Hayes said.

* The Sun-Times followed up

Lang also defended the timing to withdraw as sponsor of the gambling bill, even though the connection Odelson and Sterk had with Rockford dated back to last summer.

“This is the time I felt was appropriate. I think you know that in all the legislation I’ve ever had in gaming going back 20 years, I’ve had Rockford in the bill. There’s nothing new here,” Lang said.

Lang didn’t waver when pressed why he didn’t object to the decision by the law firm that employs him to solicit business from a town covered by his gambling-expansion legislation.

“I have violated no ethical rules, and so I’ll send you this piece of paper,” he said, referring to the letter to Madigan, announcing his recusal from the legislation. “I don’t want to discuss it further. That’s my public comment.”

* Lang’s withdrawal letter

It was recently brought to my attention that there may be a perceived conflict of interest between the law firm of which I am of counsel and my sponsorship of the gaming bill because a client of the firm has an interest that could be impacted by the passage of the proposed legislation.

To be clear, the law firm’s work for the client has no relation whatsoever to any gaming legislation. Additionally, I do no legal work for this client, and I receive no compensation from their relationship with the firm. My actions as an attorney and/or a member of the General Assembly have been, at every moment, completely appropriate and totally respectful of all applicable laws and ethical rules. There have been no violations of any kind.

Lang has, indeed, supported a Rockford casino for a very long time. And “of counsel” means he’s not a partner in the firm, so, as he said, he didn’t share in any profits.

But with all the heat on this bill (some of it contrived, some of it legit), withdrawal was a wise move.

Rep. Bob Rita is the new sponsor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


16 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    Gaming is a giant ethical minefield and Lou Lang has a rather big blind spot where ethics are concerned (certainly on perception of conflicts). This isn’t remotely surprising.


  2. - Snucka - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    Interesting. Has to be disappointing for proponents of the bill to go from Lang to a much weaker sponsor in Rita.


  3. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===certainly on perception of conflicts===

    The problem with “perception” of anything is that it varies with the perceiver. You can twist just about anything to allege a perception of a conflict.


  4. - El tercero - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Lang can now focus on making sure payday lenders get a fair shake from the state. He’s such a good advocate for them.


  5. - The Captain - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    If the bill were to come to the floor with Rockford in it would he be able to vote for/against the bill or would he have to vote present?


  6. - Nickypiii - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 2:55 pm:

    Lou understands that there might be a perception of conflict and did the right thing. He wouldn’t want to jeopardize this important legislation.


  7. - walkinfool - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 3:28 pm:

    Lou’s disentangling himself from anything that might be used against him in his positioning for
    the Speakership, if MJM moves out.

    Just a random thought. I’m often wrong on such.


  8. - Anon - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 4:09 pm:

    If the facts have not changed how does the public’s new awareness of the facts create a perception problem?


  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    =The problem with “perception” of anything is that it varies with the perceiver. You can twist just about anything to allege a perception of a conflict.=

    I really don’t want to get involved in this discussion, but since the other Anonymous missed it, I thought I’d mention it. I believe the correct term within the legal context is “perception of impropriety.”


  10. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    Smart move because it is more than a perception .


  11. - Publius - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 5:55 pm:

    Odelson & Sterk also represents calumet city. One of the leading southeast suburb communities for a casino. Coincidence Lang was hired by Odelson?


  12. - Capitol View - Tuesday, May 21, 13 @ 7:32 pm:

    with all the nonsense that Blago and others have done, is this even worth muttering about? Almost every big firm lawyer probably has overlapping interests with half the bills that come before the General Assembly.

    Either we go with a full time legislature, or pseudo conflicts like this need to be ignored.


  13. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 22, 13 @ 7:28 am:

    There’s no ambiguity about the conflict of interest here - unless you want to argue that winning boatloads of money for your employer has no personal value (even without a formal quid-pro-quo that your employer will reward you with other work or benefits). Capitol View is right - there’s conflicts all over the place - we and the media have simply been beaten down to accept them.


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 22, 13 @ 8:57 am:

    ===There’s no ambiguity about the conflict of interest here===

    Oh, please. That’s ridiculous. Capitol View was absolutely right when he called this a “pseudo conflict.”


  15. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 22, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    Here’s my perception, based on reality.

    Lang has pushed for a Rockford casino for 20 years.

    Last year, a law firm he does work for got a Rockford contract.

    20 - 1 = 19.

    If waiting around 19 years for a contract is supposed to represent a quid pro quo, my perception is that Lang isn’t very good at leveraging his office for business.


  16. - Dingo - Wednesday, May 22, 13 @ 1:47 pm:

    With or without Lang, this legislation needs to be passed. IL needs the revenue it would generate and the residents of IL definitely need the jobs it would provide.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Summers compares Trump to Rauner
* New White House website references "thousands of shootings in Chicago"
* Let's try cashing in on our rich heritage
* And now for a little bit of good news
* Unemployment up, jobs down
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 - Kirk declined to fly with Obama *** Kirk won't stop saying goofy things
* Um... about that "fully funded" boast
* Cullerton, Radogno "playing coy" about tax hike percentage
* "Institute" ginning up opposition to Senate deal
* A SOTS preview?
* IDOT warns of doom for I-55 toll lanes
* Is the end near for legislator pensions?
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

  
* Apple Watch Pop Up Shop at Galeries Lafayette in Paris Shuts Down
* ‘Hot Wheels: Race Off’ review
* LG G6 could be the first non-Google phone with Assistant on-board
* Galaxy Note 7 explosion report: why did Samsung’s phablet blow up? (Video)
* 200,000 people signed up for DirecTV Now at launch
* Sonos wants to integrate voice assistants into its speaker lineup
* [TA Deals] Master data science and analytics with this bundle for less than $50

* Dominican Republic academy re-opens with upgrades
* Dominican Republic academy re-opens with upgrades
* New Hall of Famers reflect on highest honor
* Fans will be able to stream live games in '17
* New Hall of Famers get their close-up
* Williams says Hall not just for 'all-time greats'
* Collins named fourth-best catching prospect in MLB

...............


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress

Loading


* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vot.....
* Schoenburg: Rauner’s lawyer takes comfort in hi.....
* Illinois Senate ‘bargain’ includes hike in mini.....
* Schoenburg: Rauner's lawyer takes comfort in hi.....
* Dart says he’s committed to combating sex traff.....
* Sen. Duckworth: ‘I didn’t give up literally par.....
* Statehouse Insider: Will this week see the budg.....
* Statehouse Insider: Will this week see the budg.....


* The Latest: Protesters still marching through Washington
* Illinois offers free tax preparation to low-income residents
* Illinois judge: Ban on shackling child suspects adds costs
* Crowds turn out for women's marches across Illinois
* Aaron Schock case assigned to federal judge in Urbana
* The Latest: Chicago protesters spill into city's downtown
* More female wrestlers competing in Illinois high schools
* Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Chicago rental car tax
* Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Chicago rental car tax

* Illinois Senate to try again on pension reform
* Illinois Senate 'bargain' includes hike in minimum wage
* Governor extends tax incentive program
* Schock case reassigned to Urbana's Judge Colin Bruce
* Background-checks policy leads U of I to withdraw 11 job offers
* Film industry generates half-billion in Illinois spending
* Illinois Senate leaders promise budget-deal vote Wednesday
* Jesse White wants ads on license plate renewal reminders to offset cost
* A new tax on sodas, sugary drinks? It might be part of Illinois budget deal
* Jesse White wants ads on license renewal reminders to offset cost

* In the market for a new home? Here are your best bets.
* Illinois Holocaust Museum bets on rock 'n' roll
* How this Loop company survived the killing of its CEO
* Thousands of marchers flood downtown Chicago
* Jimmy John talks!


* Woman, man shot in Grand Crossing
* Man seriously wounded in East Garfield Park shooting
* Bulls’ backups are beginning to step forward
* Man and woman with warrants for arrest found in Zion
* 2 wounded in East Garfield Park shooting
* Woman, 19, critically wounded in South Shore shooting
* Man wounded in West Pullman domestic stabbing
* Trump spokesman: Inauguration had ‘largest audience in history’
* Charter bus catches fire on Bishop Ford, no one injured
* Illinois teacher at D.C. march: ‘We’re not going to be ignored’


* Bulls survive against Kings as Dwyane Wade scores 13 of his 30 points in final quarter
* What will history say about President Trump? Only he has the answer
* At least 23 killed, 50 injured as train derails in India
* No. 9 Evanston earns marquee win against No. 11 Young
* Pope Francis: I'll judge President Trump after we see what he does
* Saturday's recap: Bulls 102, Kings 99
* 1 dead, 11 wounded in city shootings
* 'He got a gun! He got a gun!': Terrified Walmart customers scramble during apparent robbery
* Bank, whose former CEO named his boat 'Overdraft,' in hot water over fees
* Trump wages war against the media as demonstrators protest his presidency


The widget AQL4JYGHIY powered by Feed Informer does not exist.


* Illinois Senate to try again on pension reform
* Illinois Senate 'bargain' includes hike in minimum wage
* Our View: Give President Trump a chance to succeed
* Angie Muhs: Teaming up to tackle community needs in Springfield
* Schoenburg: Rauner's lawyer takes comfort in high court budget decision
* Big Brothers Big Sisters to note National Mentoring Month
* Local generosity inspires record-setting grant potential
* Statehouse Insider: Will this week break the budget logjam?
* Guest Column: Put politics aside and pass a state budget
* Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s self-revealing final act


* Illini's wait for Big Ten road win continues
* UI MBB notes: Morgan not going back on comments
* UI MBB grades: Mostly failing at Michigan
* UI roundup: Seymour climbs timing charts
* Tate: NCAA bid unofficially dead for Illini
* Illini legends, lists and lore: Jack Squirek
* Peoria area group embraces supportive mood at Washington, D.C., march
* WSOY honors contributors for 2016 Food Drive
* PODCAST: Fastener's ETC. Postgame Show 01-21-17
* Peoria area group embraces supportive mood at Washington march


* Hoiberg doesn't alter starting lineup after bad loss
* Beagle scores in overtime, Capitals beat Stars 4-3
* Fischer scores in 1st game, Coyotes top Lightning 5-3
* Hill scores 30 vs. former team as Jazz beat Pacers 109-100
* Jokic scores 19, Nuggets rout short-handed Clippers 123-98

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* More than 1000 Attend Springfield Call 2 A......
* Bipartisan bill aims to reform H-1B visa s......

* What happened in week three of the Colonie......

* The President-elect: The world's greatest troll!
* Capitol Fax: New White House website references “thousands of shootings in Chicago”
* Trump taking the oath and inaugural speech
* Thorner: Join the effort to preserve the Constitution
* Thorner/O'Neil: Will Trump drop the ridiculous notion of drafting women?
* Thorner/O'Neil: Will Trump drop his predecessor's ridiculous notion of drafting women?
* Knight: A Department of Justice worthy of its name
* 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs honored at White House
* Moore tells women: Welcome to Day 2 of the Trump Travesty
* Fantasies always predominate in political people’s mentalities


* New Authority Allows DCFS to Strengthen and Preserve Families - Federal waiver grants DCFS flexibility to better care for fostered youth
* Illinois Film Industry Generates $499 Million in 2016 - Chicago named #5 Best Place to Live and Work as a Moviemaker
* State Announces Free Tax Preparation for Low Income Families
* Governor Announces Appointments
* Governor Takes Bill Action




      Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller