* The General Assembly lost its acting inspector general in 2015, when Bill Roberts quit, and hasn’t had a “real” IG since 2013. State law requires that the Legislative Ethics Commission (composed of eight members of Illinois House and Senate leadership) appoint an interim IG if there’s a vacancy, but that hasn’t happened. So, what’s going on?…
(T)he office of the state’s legislative inspector general sits empty. The Legislative Ethics Commission’s executive director, Randy Erferd, attends only to the group’s administrative needs and did not return calls for comment by publication.
Despite this, $312,500 were appropriated for the Office of the Legislative Inspector General in this year’s budget. The same amount was appropriated in 2013, 2014, 2015, and for the 2016-2017 year. A total of $1,875,000 million has been appropriated for an office which has not been occupied and to pay for a staff which doesn’t exist. […]
“We haven’t found an appropriate person but I want to hasten to add that there have been no reports of ethics violations during that period of time so it’s not like there’s something that hasn’t been done,” [Rep. Lou Lang] said.
The commission’s governing statute holds that the number of claims received by the body is a matter of public record. However, no quarterly or annual reports appear to have been filed by the office since June 2014, making Lang’s claim difficult to verify. The responsibility to file those reports resides with the inspector general.
Lang was asked why quarterly reports, if they have been filed by the commission, have not been made public. “At this moment I don’t have an answer about that for you, but I can tell you if there had been complaints we would have had to figure out how to investigate them.”
…Adding… As a commenter rightly notes, the IG is a significant component of Speaker Madigan’s sexual harassment bill…
Each state Inspector General will have authority to review allegations of sexual harassment and submit any founded complaints to the applicable Ethics Commission for a hearing. Each Ethics Commission will have the authority to fine an individual up to $5,000 for a violation of the prohibition on sexual harassment.
…Adding More… I think the appropriations mentioned above were probably re-approps, so while the money was budgeted, it wasn’t spent every year.