Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Roberts appointment questioned
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.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Brady makes some unusual appointments to discrimination and harassment task force
* Pritzker sues endorser, deletes ad she appeared in
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Candidate announcement
* Best tweet of the day
* Question of the day
* Roskam race moved to "Toss Up" by Cook Political Report
* Kennedy lashes out at Emanuel, while Pritzker takes a softer approach
* Rauner refuses to weigh in on federal tax legislation
* Reports: Former Munger firm gets $12.5 million no-bid contract after a $12 million payment was frozen by Mendoza
* "Every time I see a little kid waving I always try to wave back"
* Londrigan, EMILY's List stand by their false statements
* In praise of Mary Ann Ahern
* George Will: Illinois "approaching a death spiral"
* Rauner urged to sign education funding "cleanup" bill
* Republican Party wants Durbin, Duckworth to give away Franken's cash
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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


Loading


* Capitol Fax: Illinois House GOP leader faces co.....
* Unusual Challengers for Abnormal Times - River .....
* Will: Election battle looms in Illinois - Danvi.....
* Column: In Illinois, a looming battle over the .....
* In Illinois, a looming battle over the bankrupt.....


* Jesse Jackson's decades in public eye shaped by many roles
* Backers hope Route 66 historic designation can drive tourism
* EXCHANGE: UI lab has watched children grow for 75 years
* EXCHANGE: Hit by train, Highland teen has amazing recovery
* Chicago-area school chief who is to resign denies harassment
* Ex-Merrillville councilman admits guilt in bribery case
* Newspaper investigation finds Illinois raffle irregularities
* Newspaper investigation finds Illinois raffle irregularities
* $80M Mississippi River bridge opens from Illinois to Iowa
* $80M Mississippi River bridge opens from Illinois to Iowa

* Electric cars, better fuel efficiency spell doom for Illinois gas tax
* Springfield wants out of legislation limiting payments for 5G antennas
* Fact check: Are Gov. Rauner's grandparents immigrants?
* Londrigan accused of attacking Davis for 'opposite' of remarks
* Gov. Rauner signs sex harassment legislation
* Under the Dome Podcast: Governor's race, sexual harassment, Rodney Davis
* Macoupin Co. highway renamed in honor of soldier who died in Vietnam
* Macoupin Co. highway renamed in honor of solder who died in Vietnam
* Schoenburg: Rep. Davis leads new caucus, pleased with White House access
* Rep. Davis leads new caucus, pleased with White House access

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Here's how Baker McKenzie profits from offshore tax system
* Cards Against Humanity works to maintain its naughtiness
* The either/or world of Cards Against Humanity: Funny or Die
* Why do people give? Not for the tax break.


* Shots fired on CTA Green Line during attempted robbery in South Loop
* Chicago Sun-Times moves into digital-forward workspace in West Loop
* State police find woman not breathing, save her by performing CPR
* Police: 68-year-old man killed in hit-and-run crash in Logan Square
* Dear Abby: He can’t drive, but his grown children won’t visit, help
* Sheriff: Man battered firefighters trying to extinguish his car fire
* Woman, 24, wounded in drive-by shooting on South Side
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Nov. 19, 2017
* Spokeswoman: David Cassidy in hospital with organ failure
* ‘SNL’ host Chance the Rapper creates a new Thanksgiving anthem


* Sandhill cranes bounce back from brink as migration over Illinois to peak next week
* As 'SNL' host, Chance the Rapper's a natural
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 11/19/17
* Chicago cop faces sentencing for firing 16 shots at car filled with teens, wounding two
* Lincoln Park home with two parking spaces: $2.2M
* A tough diagnosis brings on unexpected generosity
* Man, 68, killed in hit-and-run crash on Northwest Side
* Receptive Ryan: Scianna's TD catch lifts Lincoln-Way East into state finals
* Maine South proud, upbeat about future after loss in state semis
* 3 wounded in shootings on South, West sides


» State Week: Are Voters Thinking About 2018?
» Legislative Checklist: Veto Session
» How 3 Women Want To Make Illinois’ Political Future Female
» Illinois Supreme Court Weighing Seizure Of Woman’s Harley
» Illinois Supreme Court Weighing Seizure Of Woman's Harley
» Statehouse Ethical Issues Might Need Outside Oversight, Legislators Say
» Prosecutor: No More Indictments In Laquan McDonald Shooting
» Metra Board OKs Budget With Service Cuts, Fare Hikes In 2018
» For Illinois Sex Offenders, Six Years Can Turn Into Life In Prison
» State Week: Harassment Training, Veto Wins And Losses, Late Payments


* Bernard Schoenburg: Ives says Rauner joined 'ruling class' he was to fight
* Statehouse Insider: Republican primary for governor underway
* Doubek: For harassment and beyond, Springfield needs stronger accountability
* Jim Dixon: It is time for a fair tax for Illinois
* Our View: It’s time for decision on YWCA block
* Electric cars, better fuel efficiency spell doom for Illinois gas tax
* Ed Rogers: A Clinton special counsel won't help Republicans in 2018
* Guest View: Rural health care providers deserve our thanks
* Springfield wants out of legislation limiting payments for 5G antennas
* Fact check: Are Gov. Rauner's grandparents immigrants?


* MARK-TO-MARKET: Breaking tradition, Trump replaces Fed Chair
* 'Reminder to be thankful': Thousands receive Thanksgiving meals from Midwest Food Bank
* Dewey’s Pizza opens, and Aldi reopens, in O’Fallon
* Area Calendar 11/19/17
* Daily Digest 11/19/17
* Anselm: Quad-City Times prepares largest edition of the year - 100s of pages of deals, coupons
* UPDATED: waterway advisories remain for northern counties
* Michelle N. Rollins
* Max Owens
* Jody Spaniol


* Missouri wins fifth straight to become bowl eligible
* Mavericks stop 4-game slide with win against Bucks
* Herbert returns, Oregon beats Arizona 48-28
* Boys bowling: Scouting Lake County
* Officials: McHenry County jail inmate's death under investigation

* Local Congressmen React to the Passage of ...
* Hultgren whishes McHenry County College a ...
* Hultgren and Ruppersberger: Protect infras...
* Hultgren, Roskam help deliver tax bill for...
* US lawmakers urge Trump to prod Rody on dr...
* Hultgren and Ruppersberger: Protect infras...
* Hultgren, Roskam help deliver tax bill for...
* US lawmakers urge Trump to prod Rody on dr...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Rep. Randy Hultgren congratulates McHenry ...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Jim Dey: Death, taxes and confusion - Cham......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Dollar Tree Coming To Former Unique Thrift Store Location?
* All Aboard! Open House Sunday Afternoon At Uptown's Model Railroad Club
* Meet Your 20th District Officers On Argyle in Sunday/Monday Events
* Randi Weingarten’s secret meeting with Steve Bannon.
* Believe women.
* SNL Watch Party at SMG-Chatham
* The Weekend Desk Report
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock
* The Week In Chicago Rock
* Sunday week in review.


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Google Pixel 2 bootloader issues, iPhone X fixes & more – Pocketnow Daily
* [Sponsored] Take advantage of Tomtop’s electric treadmill flash sale!
* NFL may expand match livestreaming away from Verizon phones
* Razer Hammerhead USB-C earbuds designed to compliment Razer Phone
* Honor V10 specs reportedly include headphone jack, slightly smaller battery
* The Razer Phone is now available at select Microsoft Stores
* HomePod unceremoniously delayed until early 2018

* White Sox Arizona Fall League recap
* Sporcle Saturday: Top player performances
* LIVE: MLB Awards unveiled on Network
* White Sox face roster call on Clarkin, 6 more
* Thyago Vieira brings missing heat to White Sox bullpen battle
* MLB Awards grand finale (7 CT, MLB Network)
* White Sox trade for hard-throwing Vieira


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

Archives
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
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




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