A woman who until recently was the No. 2 official in an Illinois government unit that regulates the securities industry lied about her academic background, used multiple names on government records and listed a home address that turned out to be a UPS storefront, according to an internal state investigation.
The woman also billed the state for work as a home-health aide for hundreds of days when she was supposed to be working as the $75,000-a-year deputy director of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Department of Securities, the investigation finds.
The probe was conducted by Jim Burns, the inspector general for the secretary of state’s office. Released after a formal request by Crain’s, the report indicates that the ex-official, Marlene Liss, also known as Marlene Liss-Menendez and Mar Liss-Garcia, also is the subject of a parallel investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield that is part of a wider probe into Medicaid fraud […]
But Mr. Druker also said, in answer to a direct question, that Mr. White has known Ms. Liss for 15 years, originally meeting her when she ran a Springfield printing shop. Mr. Druker said Ms. Liss, now 36, obtained employment with the secretary of state’s office on her own, without Mr. White’s help. The two, though, do have a non-romantic “personal friendship,” Mr. Druker said. “It’s a social relationship.” […]
Despite her job title as chief deputy director, Ms. Liss provided only “administrative services,” such as keeping track of vacation and time off, Mr. Druker said. She “did not” work on securities regulation.
A Republican state Senator asked me yesterday why anyone would ever want to be secretary of state. There’s no policy involved, he said. Well, yeah, I replied, but the SoS has plenty of nice goodies to hand out. Jobs, contracts, grants, etc. So if you like “helping people,” you’d love being secretary of state.
Maybe a little less “help” and a little more background checking is in order over there.