SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Roberts appointment questioned

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

* The BGA looks at the ties between the new Legislative Inspector General Bill Roberts, a former US Attorney, his law firm and political leaders

* Political committees controlled by Madigan paid Hinshaw & Culbertson more than $40,000 between 2002 and 2008, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Roberts represented Madigan during an investigation by federal authorities in Springfield into the possible misuse of state resources that ended in early 2005 with no charges filed.

* Hinshaw has contributed to the campaign funds of Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago; Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne, D-East St. Louis; Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont; and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs. Roberts personally donated $500 last year to the campaign fund of state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission that approved Roberts’ appointment on May 30. Other members of that committee include Clayborne, who until recently worked for the law firm run by Roberts in its downstate Belleville office.

* State agencies have hired Hinshaw and paid the firm more than $1.8 million over the past five years, state records show. That includes $2,339 from the Cullerton-led Senate Democrats in the 2012 budget year and $1,950 from the Madigan-led House Democrats in 2014.

* The Sun-Times editorial board, while noting Roberts’ respected career, thinks this is a lousy choice

Roberts’ selection reflects a brazen lack of concern for the appearance of good government and the effectiveness of ethics laws. Certainly, the Legislature doesn’t appear to believe the job of the inspector general is very important. If Roberts were to investigate himself, he no doubt would find the appearances of conflict of interest are compelling. It is not a close call.

An IG at any level is supposed to be independent and pursue only the facts. There should be no restraints of a political nature. An IG also relies on the people who are interviewed in the course of gathering facts to believe they are dealing with an unquestionably impartial investigation. Roberts’ ties to legislators cast a shadow over that.

Roberts said he wouldn’t have taken the job if he thought there were conflicts. We’re not sure the average Illinois citizen will see it that way.

The General Assembly is expected next year to select a permanent person to fill the IG job until 2018. Rather than put Roberts in that job, the Legislature should cast a wider net for someone who has not only his investigatory skills, but also a firm record of independence.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    I think this is overblown. The most qualified candidates for such a post are going to be private practice attorneys doing white collar criminal work and internal investigations. In large part, these folks work in bigger law firms because of the resources needed to handle document-intensive investigations. Such firms work for and donate to everyone under the sun. You’re not going to find a ton of qualified candidates for such a position working in tiny firms or on their own.


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    I read the BGA story twice, trying to figure out what I was supposed to be outraged about.

    Just read the Sun-Times edit. Still trying to figure out what my concern should be.

    What lazy thinking and writing. Apparently, if you’ve ever been engaged in the public arena at all, you’re now a suspect? Is that what passes for being a “watchdog” these days?

    What exactly is Roberts being accused of, anyway? The tone from both sources make him seem like a bad guy. I don’t see how he deserved it.

    The BGA under Shaw is a joke, just a scandal-mongering money machine, but I used to expect more from the Sun-Times.


  3. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Wordslinger needs to read the story a third time, because apparently he missed the part about how Roberts’ law firm gets about $400,000 year in state business (who knows how much more in business referred to them by powerful state pols) and - surprise! - gives money to a slew of state legislators.

    “Apparently, if you’ve ever been engaged in the public arena at all, you’re now a suspect?”

    Yeah, WS, that’s all the BGA reported.

    There’s not a retired judge or ex-big-firm attorney in all of Illinois willing to be the state legislator watchdog? Then increase the salary until there is.


  4. - The Boy Blunder - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    This seems like quite a reach. Not everything is a scandal.


  5. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Another disappointment from the BGA.

    Find me a smart lawyer, used to handling white collar and big money issues, who understands Illinois government, and you will send me someone who has contributed to Illinois campaigns, and knows people in government. The IG is the inside investigator, and we need some insider smarts to get the job done well.

    Save the outsider recruits for the US Atty jobs.


  6. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Well said Word.


  7. - Befuddled - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Yawn.


  8. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Who is out there with appropriate qualifications who isn’t going to be perceived as having some conflict? I haven’t read anything that would indicate to me that he has a controlling bias in any direction. He’s been an equal opportunity service provider. He strikes me as being honest enough and secure enough to do an able job here. It doesn’t appear at his age that anyone can intimidate him in future endeavors. Let’s move on and see if he’ll get the job done.


  9. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Guy who works for everyone and contributes a little to everyone and does good work gets another gig. And that is this weeks outrage de jour.

    So what.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Why even leave room for speculation or the appearance of possible conflict?

    There are smart people on the Commission. They should know better and they should have found someone else qualified who would not leave any possible impression of a conflict.

    This is not a scandal, but it is some boneheaded judgment that opens the door to many questions about independence and objectivity.

    Mr. Roberts may have been a qualified candidate, but he was certainly not the only well qualified candidate in the state. It sounds like their minds may have been made up before they began seeking candidates, as often happens in situations like this.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    LCD, you’re really on to something there.

    Tell me, which legislators sign off on state legal business contracts?


  12. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    In the morass of state government and politics, I’ll take Bill Roberts and his integrity any day.

    They are way off base on this one.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    == Roberts personally donated $500 last year to the campaign fund of state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission that approved Roberts’ appointment on May 30. ==

    Take this sentence, for example.

    Kirk Dillard rarely gives any reason to question his judgment or his motives. He is the about as far as you can imagine from being corrupt. He almost certainly recused himself or, imho, cast his vote on the basis of Mr. Roberts’ qualifications and not on the basis of some $500 contribution last year.

    From the story, it sounds like he did vote for Mr. Roberts. The roll call of that vote does not appear on the LEC’s website www.ilga.gov/commission/lec/ for verification.

    Someone could easily use this as an example to raise doubts about the ethics of the ethics commission, commission members, the vote and Mr. Roberts, even though Mr. Dillard may not have even realized Roberts contributed to him.

    As Chicago’s Legislative Inspector General explains in the article == The role of the IG is not only to be impartial but to appear to be impartial. ==

    This choice falls short of that standard in many ways.


  14. - downstate hack - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Bill Roberts has no integrity problems and is honest and straight forward. The Sun Times raises a few valid points, but I think over did their stance.


  15. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    I’m not seeing the issue here. Sounds like the whole thing is overblown. But that doesn’t stop newspapers and others from dragging people’s names through the mud if it sells.


  16. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Maybe Roberts wouldn’t have trouble with the BGA if Hinshaw had written Andy a fat check like all those other Chicago law firms.

    I don’t recall Andy having a problem when Ty was bad-mouthing the state to rating agencies while Mayer Brown had a $2 million contract for state bond work. Of course, Mayer Brown is a “major supporter” of BGA, according to its website. Probably a coincidence.

    And when it comes to honesty and integrity, maybe Andy can shine a light on how Les Crown came to serve on the BGA Civic Leadership Committee.

    Just how big a check does someone who copped in federal court to bribing state legislators have to write to get the BGA Goo-Goo Stamp of Approval?


  17. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Mr/Ms Lake County Dem…could you tell us dopey readers whether 400K to a large from by the state with a $50 billion annual budget is a lot — like #1 — or not?
    The story was poorly done as is most of Handout Andy’s work, but to quote the IG magoo in Chicago as some sort of expert was really outrageous. We guess the BGA had some dark money contributor vying for the spot and they are seeking pay back.
    More disgraceful is that the Sun Times runs this slop from a dark money lobo group as if it is news. Funny they couldn’t con one their own “watchdogs” to slap their name on it?


  18. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    @wordslinger - You read my mind re: BGA’s law firm sponsors. I guess if this appointee is compromised because of his firm’s involvement in the political process then should we assume BGA is a sham good govt. organization because it took $25,000 from Clifford Law Offices this May, the same Clifford Law Offices that gave more than a half million to Rod Blagojevich during his crime spree in office?


  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Wordslinger:

    That was awesome.

    You left without wondering aloud why the Sun-Times and every one else in Chicago journalism has given Shaw a free pass.


  20. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Let us hope that Roberts has better sense than the OEIG that prosecuted the State Fair for $540 in beer tickets that were distributed to staff, volunteers, etc. Hard to say that is a “personal” gift. Another example of OEIG’s waste of time and money.


  21. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Bill Roberts is one the most well-respected attorneys in Illinois and has the bonafide credentials to back it up. Andy and the BGA are looking for “gotcha” stories that make headlines to try and raise more money from their donors.

    There are a thousand possible stories and this is the one they highlight?


  22. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    On this one BGA is absolutely right. Inspector General’s with good historical relationships with key power players don’t make good Inspector General’s. Give me a David Hoffman or a Joe Ferguson, not another happy, cozy lawyer.

    I said this on this board when the initial announcement was made and most here read me the riot act. Sorry guys, Roberts may be a fantastic lawyer with integrity and a really great guy, but that’s not what I want in my IGs.


  23. - whca1 - Tuesday, Jul 29, 14 @ 6:11 pm:

    I have known Bill Roberts for many years. He taught my wife in grade school. When he was US Attorney, I volunteered to buy him breakfast with me when doing some training. He declined saying it wouldn’t look right. Problem with Bill is he is probably the most ethical of anyone down there.


  24. - Lawyers Guns And Money Peoria Il - Wednesday, Jul 30, 14 @ 1:16 am:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog
    and was curious what all is needed to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or
    advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Final thoughts before calling it a night
* *** UPDATED x2 - Script *** Quinn airs radio ad of Rauner joking about being "scared" of four African-Americans
* Karen Lewis endorses Chuy Garcia for mayor
* Friday night TV ad rating
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Proft responds to HRO
* Quinn, Rauner head downstate
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HRO responds to Proft
* Emptying out my in-box
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Inducement or just a party?
* Question of the day
* UPDATE: $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? Do They Really Need a Bailout After Making Nearly $1 BILLION In The Last 90 Days?
* Very late Rauner oppo
* *** UPDATED x2 *** And speaking of abortion...
* GOP defends Rauner on "employer-provided birth control"
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Friday morning fundraising report
* It's not anything new, but that doesn't make it Kosher
* Polling averages, models, projections, etc.
* Today's number: $3.5 million
* Rauner makes "Top 10" robocall list
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Cable TV buy report and a spending update
* 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

          
        * Roku adds Google Play Movies & TV to its feature list
        * Minuum iOS update picks up new languages, advanced settings (Giveaway)
        * A final word from Taylor Martin
        * Battleheart Legacy signals Mika Mobile’s return to Android
        * AT&T and Verizon Boost Monthly Wireless Data in Ongoing Competition
        * Smash Champs lets you become a legendary trainer
        * Poynt pad tries to be all-in-one payment system for business

        * Trent Reznor working with Apple on secret music project
        * Samsung Galaxy A5 and A3 phones try to capture young people's attention
        * Updated Office For Mac Arriving In 2015, Outlook Updated In The Meantime
        * iFixit Debunks iPhone 6 Plus Reinforcement Claims
        * Jony Ive: Apple Watch Tougher Project Than The iPhone
        * Google’s “Copresence” Feature Could Allow Seamless Cross-Platform Communication
        * Trent Reznor Working On Secret Music Project At Apple

        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent
        * White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option
        * White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades
        * White Sox offseason plan roundup: Third base
        * Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future


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

        Archives
        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


        * Taking a selfie with your ballot in the voting .....
        * Final weekend of campaigning for Pat Quinn, Bru.....
        * Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, GOP's Bruce Rauner enc.....
        * Other Voices: Candidates should educate voters,.....
        * Tokyo Thrills the Global Stock Markets..


        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Creator of Operation couldn't afford own operation
        * Union backs county commissioner for Chicago mayor
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Lake Michigan waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Wallenda ready for windy Chicago tightrope walks
        * Woman charged with defrauding Illinois couple
        * Quinn, Rauner talk jobs, early voting Friday
        * Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
        * Cook County Jail guard faces theft charge

        * State contribution to TRS to increase by $300 million next year
        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Inmate freed from Jacksonville prison in landmark Illinois case
        * Cross opposes income tax hike extension
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take back seat in governor’s race
        * Madigan’s office seeks clarifications from former Topinka nonprofit
        * Cross says no to income tax hike extension, sales tax on services
        * Gay marriage, abortion issues take backseat in governor’s race
        * Illinois inmate freed in landmark capital punishment case

        * SEC examines Caterpillar's accounting for Bucyrus
        * Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria
        * Karen Lewis endorses Jesus Garcia for Chicago mayor
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive – and sinks Chicago's mood
        * A stormy Lake Michigan swamps Lake Shore Drive — and sinks Chicago's mood


        * Garcia: I'm a serious mayoral candidate, not just a protest vote
        * A higher standard of criminal justice
        * Ex-Northwestern doctor to pay $475K to settle fraud claims
        * Sad day  when  Catholic  schools  close
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Chicago bead merchant Ronnie Klein, whose Loop business drew stars, dead at 65
        * Durbin, Oberweis square off for final time
        * State’s attorney investigating alderman’s prize offer to voters
        * Face it: Animator has found a great way to pass time on his commute
        * Refund those unfair yellow-light tickets


        * Karen Lewis endorses Garcia for mayor in new video
        * 3 injured, 1 fatally, in shootings
        * Missing Garfield Ridge man located
        * Trial to begin for Darien man charged in 2012 killing
        * Alleged victims of ex-Wilmette teacher share memories online
        * New rules make Illinois voting easier
        * Federal judge refuses government request to close terrorism hearing
        * Emanuel's top attorney: Watchdog had no right to sue
        * Cops release photos in robbery and attack of police sergeant
        * Cops warn of armed robberies at South Side businesses


        * Scary Story: St. Michael And Mr. Pyles By H.W. Devlin
        * Dodging DUIs: Secretary of State Candidates Faceoff
        * Cook County posting indigent burials in 'virtual cemetery'
        * Whom do you trust when it comes to nutrition advice?
        * Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier
        * The digital afterlife
        * Making Buildings Healthier From The Inside Out
        * Scary Story: Planes By Ted Morrissey
        * Listen to State Week - October 31, 2014
        * "Monster Mash" Celebrates Halloween With Classical Music


        * E.J. Dionne: Moderate thunder out of Kansas
        * Charles Krauthammer: A referendum on competence
        * Quote of the Day: Nov. 1
        * State contribution to TRS to increase by $300 million next year
        * Former Gov. Edgar to campaign with Rauner
        * Esther Cepeda: Elizabeth Pena: Trailblazer on the big screen
        * Andy Shaw: Voter turnout instrumental to reform
        * Ty Fahner: What if the Court rejects pension reform?
        * Attorney general seeks clarifications from Topinka’s former nonprofit
        * Quote of the Day: Friday, Oct. 31


        * Arcola family keeps football tradition alive
        * Danville's soccer journey to state ends
        * HS Football: Class 6A Playoffs-Round One
        * PBL falls in first playoff game since 2006
        * Feeling blue: Centennial dropped in first-round game
        * Staunton schools report 24 cases of whooping cough
        * HS Soccer 2A Sectional: Danville vs. SHG
        * HS Soccer 2A Sectional: Danville vs. Springfield
        * Quinn, Rauner talk jobs, early voting Friday
        * Baby dead in Beardstown


        * Untapable wins Breeders' Cup Distaff, jockey announces retirement
        * Barrington outruns OPRF
        * Cold weather doesn't stop trick-or-treaters
        * Waves slam Chicago lakeshore
        * Marmion loses heartbreaker at DeKalb

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Oberweis gearing up to take on Durbin in m......
        * Oberweis gearing up to take on Durbin in m......
        * Oberweis gearing up to take on Durbin in m......
        * Oberweis gearing up to take on Durbin in m......
        * Oberweis gearing up to take on Durbin in m......

        * Sen. Mark Kirk questioned by Triton students...

        * Winds, Waves Close Northbound Lake Shore Drive At Rush Hour
        * Quinn Camp Releases 2-Minute Finale Video Recapping Rauner's 'Greatest Hits'
        * Quinn Camp Releases 2-Minute Finale Video Recapping Rauner's 'Greatest Hits' (VIDEO)
        * Bill O’Reilly: ‘The White Republican Power Structure Is Afraid of Black Americans’
        * Op-Ed: Google Car Could Give The Blind More Independence While Saving Illinois Millions
        * Find the Best Deals at Deals4home
        * Google Car
        * Vallas Criticizes Rauner's Position On Charter Schools, Education Issues
        * Halloween parties in the neighborhood.
        * BPN Safe Trick-or-Treating Cancelled


        * Editorial: Governors, raining taxpayer $ on Illinois
        * Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel Thank New Safe Passage Workers - Nearly 700 Additional Workers Hired This Year to Serve 133 Schools, 69,000 Students Across the City
        * Editorial: Rauner best choice as governor to begin to reverse Illinois’ fortunes
        * Quinn to celebrate Rauner’s UI Labs accomplishment
        * Another Democrat Runs Away From Pat Quinn




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