* Do you get the feeling that nobody seems to be operating off the same page and that the Senate and House Democrats are trying to deflect blame onto each other?…
[Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan)] took issue with comments made by Madigan during a hearing on his bill, in which the veteran speaker said the vacancy at the inspector general’s office was “regrettable” but had not prevented the ethics commission from functioning. Madigan spokesman Brown declined comment, saying “the speaker’s statement stands for itself.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, Madigan said the commission’s executive director, Randy Erford, who is part-time and largely handles administrative tasks, took complaints “directly” to Link. On Thursday, Link called Madigan’s comments “a bald-faced lie” and said he has no knowledge of what is in the complaints.
“Never once was any of them taken to me directly. Did Mr. Erford say to me there were complaints? Yes. (But) I have never seen one complaint.
* Meanwhile, from the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service…
Years of accused legislative ethics violations that went unseen by a state watchdog could go unpunished because the window to do so has expired.
News that more than two dozen legislative ethics complaints sat unaddressed since 2014 has the Illinois General Assembly scrambling to appoint a new Legislative Inspector General as well as pass new laws that combat ethics breaches such as sexual harassment.
But former Legislative Inspector General Thomas Homer says the dozens of ethics complaints in the Illinois legislature won’t be addressed by whomever is next appointed to his old office. State law limits the inspector general to a 12-month window after an alleged misconduct took place in which they can open an investigation into the matter.
This is an area where the two sides are working together. All they have to do is pass a bill to get rid of that one-year window. These are civil matters so there are no ex post facto or statute of limitation considerations. Both chambers are on board.