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


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Unions file suit in St. Clair County
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* AG Madigan files TRO
* In re James Dimas
* Question of the day
* Weirdest. Oppo Dump. Ever.
* Big bucks reported by Zopp, Raja
* LIVE Comptroller Munger press conference coverage
* Yet another clock starts ticking down
* Hey, Cardinal fans...
* Rauner makes cheery visit to Illinois State Museum
* The Tier 2 difference
* *** UPDATED x4 *** Attorney General goes to court
* Credit Unions – Protecting Financial Futures
* GOP legislator wants "temporary, balanced budget"
* Food for thought
* The blame game
* Meanwhile, in the real world...
* When Indiana invaded Illinois
* 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

          
        * Curved iPhone, Galaxy S6, Google Wi-Fi comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * This might be the best phone for Ingress
        * LG G Pro 3 to sport a 6-inch QHD display and Qualcomm’s S820 SoC according to a recent leak
        * Yotaphone isn’t leaving Android after all
        * Using the Timer, Alarm, and Stopwatch Apps on Apple Watch
        * YotaPhone drops Android in favor of Jolla Sailfish (UPDATE: no it doesn’t)
        * Sony Xperia Z3+ can now be bought unlocked on Amazon US

        * Make Creamier Ice Cream with Powdered Skim Milk
        * Browsy Is a Fullscreen, Distraction-Free Browser for iOS
        * Swappa Price Tells You What Your Phone is Worth
        * This Graphic Explains How Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava Differ
        * Create a Perfect Cheese Plate With This Mnemonic Device 
        * The Best Fourth of July Deals: Headphones You Love, KitchenAid, & More
        * 10 Tricks for a Perfect Summer Cookout in Three Minutes

        * All-Star starters unveiled tonight, full rosters Monday
        * Eaton brothers share special July 4th moment
        * Avisail jumps into highlight reels, robs HR
        * White Sox slip past O's for fourth straight win
        * White Sox 3, Orioles 2: Shuck's hit, Garcia's catch save day
        * Rodon closes series, eyes sweep of Orioles
        * White Sox slip past O's for fourth straight win

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


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

        Archives
        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


        * Erickson: Hostages aplenty in the budget logjam.....
        * Pension problems came with the job - The Southern..
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Independent redistricting p.....


        * Woman who tries to sneak on planes arrested twice in 2 days
        * Closer Look: Despite budget deadlock, there are ways out
        * East St. Louis paid big legal fees to state senator's firm
        * Report: Firm fees from Chicago schools borrowing tops $18M
        * Organizers of Navy Pier July 4th fireworks say arrive early
        * Woman known for trying to sneak on planes arrested again
        * State budget limbo affects services and projects
        * A look at the race to replace ex-Illinois Congressman Schock
        * Race to replace ex-Rep. Schock a classic GOP primary contest
        * 3 employees injured when car hits Urbana restaurant

        * Statehouse Insider: Take the over on when this impasse is going to end
        * Springfield School District has paid nearly $500K in pension penalties in past 6 years
        * East St. Louis paid big legal fees to state senator's firm
        * Illinois Senate honors victims of Charleston church shootings
        * Bill would allow cameras in Illinois nursing homes
        * State employee lawsuit seeks assurance of full pay despite no budget
        * U of I freezes administration hiring over budget
        * Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeks court ruling on state payments during budget impasse
        * Illinois EPA: State has landfill capacity for 21 more years
        * State lawmakers point fingers over budget impasse; temporary budget in limbo

        * Toni Preckwinkle's monster
        * Why Caterpillar is letting its geek flag fly
        * How much could Chicago pension payments jack up your property tax bill? Try 30 percent
        * Who's to blame for the summer of governmental meltdown?
        * Can Rauner pit Cullerton against Madigan against Emanuel?


          * Man shot outside downtown fireworks display among 8 wounded Saturday night
          * Troops overseas get pizza on the Fourth thanks to suburban initiative
          * Man charged after caustic substance burns children in domestic incident
          * Follow our live coverage of the Fourth
          * Juvenile detained in shooting death of Milwaukee boy over Facebook fight
          * Woman killed after jumping from moving vehicle on Bishop Ford
          * 16 people rescued from burning boat off Oak Street beach
          * Wisconsin man dies in Tinley Park crash
          * Mom of teen killed at Hadiya Pendleton Park: 'My baby's gone. My baby's gone.'


          * Coping while black: A season of traumatic news takes a psychological toll
          * Rauner proposal would advance $450M to help Chicago schools
          * For same-sex marriage opponents, the fight is far from over
          * Emails show Emanuel, top officials aware of Clinton's private address
          * After pension payment, Chicago Public Schools to make $200M in cuts
          * CPS, Emanuel warn of deep cuts, layoffs to school district
          * After marriage equality, what's next for the LGBT movement?
          * The night Chicago politicians spent punching each other in the face
          * The legacy of Willie Dixon on his 100th birthday
          * Preckwinkle may reevaluate sales tax plan if Springfield acts on pensions


          * Bernard Schoenburg: Independent redistricting proposal could be on 2016 ballot
          * Statehouse Insider: Take the over on when this impasse is going to end
          * Statehouse Insider: Take the over on when this impasse is going to end
          * Springfield School District has paid nearly $500K in pension penalties in past 6 years
          * Letter: Rauner being set up for a fall
          * Angie Muhs: A year later, optimistic and grateful
          * East St. Louis paid big legal fees to state senator's firm
          * Illinois Senate honors victims of Charleston church shootings
          * Kenny Hartman: EPA stifling input on renewable fuel changes
          * Bill would allow cameras in Illinois nursing homes


          * A grand old time
          * Gilbert likes UConn best
          * Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Team Grades
          * Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Month-by-month highlights
          * Illini Year in Review: 2014-15
          * Asmussen: Springfield waits with open arms
          * Freedom Celebration 2015
          * Ex-Illini coach Ellis has come long way
          * Best of Fred: No. 5 — Top 25 lists
          * Patriotic party: B-N enjoys temperate Independence Day


          * Suburbs celebrate Independence Day with community spirit and sunny skies
          * America celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, parades
          * IS video shows troops' deaths in Syria archaeological site
          * Garcia's highlight catch saves Chicago White Sox
          * Obama: Freedom is paid for by men and women of US military

          * 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

          * Durbin on Overtime Rules - Alton Daily News...
          * Durbin on Overtime Rules - RiverBender.com...

          * Thousands Line Route For Arlington Heights......

          * Story can help you and your buyers avoid financial roadblocks
          * Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales at highest level in nine years, NAR says
          * U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Texas ‘Disparate Impact’ Case
          * Today’s the day for associations to meet NAR core standards
          * CIPS course offered July 22
          * REEF announces 26 college scholarship winners
          * REALTORS® notice deadline for SB 1380 extended to July 31
          * IAR office closed Friday for Independence Day
          * REALTORS® must spread word about $60K for housing assistance for June tornado victims
          * IAR Takes Another Step into Global Realm


          * State, Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement - Workers at IDOT, DHS, IDES, and CMS in Cook County to Vote on New Contract
          * Governor Rauner Extends Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines for Businesses and Individuals Impacted by Recent Tornado - Deadlines Pushed to December 31, 2015
          * Illinois EPA Releases Annual Report on Landfill Capacity
          * IDNR Urges Public to Leave Fireworks Displays to Those Who Are Licensed and Trained - Fireworks Show Sponsors Reminded to Check Credentials of Fireworks Vendors
          * Governor Receives Initial Criminal Justice Commission Report




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