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Sen. Link says Speaker Madigan lied

Friday, Nov 3, 2017

* 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.

Whew.

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

8 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    –On Thursday, Link called Madigan’s comments “a bald-faced lie” and said he has no knowledge of what is in the complaints.–

    Link touts his willful ignorance like it’s a good thing.

    What did you all think you were supposed to be doing on that commission?

    Hint: putting forth an inspector general candidate for approval. Check the statute. It’s way clear.

    Omar the Tentmaker doesn’t have enough material to accommodate all the CYA going on in the GA right now.


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    On the Link-Madigan thing, I can see how Sen. Link would get hot about that. As Chair of the Commission he has an adjudicatory role in cases brought to the Commission. He’s not supposed to see the substance of raw complaints until they are investigated by the IG and brought to the Commission. By saying he was brought complaints (files), they’ve basically accused him of an ethical breach and of violating the Commission’s rules and procedures.


  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===Did Mr. Erford say to me there were complaints? Yes. (But) I have never seen one complaint.===

    I believe Senator Link. But then I have to ask myself, if he knew there were complaints, why didn’t he ask to see them? Why didn’t he demand to see them? What was the point of chairing the commission if looking at complaints wasn’t part of it?

    Sorry, but this whole mess stinks and so far the answers have been woefully lacking.


  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    I wish I’d read Ron’s comments before leaving mine. Still, the Democrats are playing hot potato with a political bomb. Sooner or later it’s going to explode.


  5. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==Did Mr. Erford say to me there were complaints? Yes. (But) I have never seen one complaint.==

    Then quite simple questions like “can you give me an idea where they currently are status-wise, Randy? Who’s addressing them, Randy?” might have been in order.

    Oh brother. In this situation with multiple people who should have been involved in the process it looks like *no* curiosity is what killed the cat. The attempts at deflection and scat covering after the fact are getting hilarious.


  6. - Shytown - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    These “guys” need to get it together. Stop pointing fingers and start taking action.


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 3, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    Wordslinger,

    You’re either intentionally spinning (slinging words?) or ignorantly conflating, but, either way, you’re incorrect.

    The LEC can ONLY review complaints that are submitted by the LIG. There is no statutory provision that the LEC should “put forth an inspector general candidate for approval.”The LEC can appoint special legislative inspectors general, but not The LIG.

    “(2) To conduct administrative hearings and rule on

    matters brought before the Commission only upon the receipt of pleadings filed by the Legislative Inspector General and not upon its own prerogative, but may appoint special Legislative Inspectors General as provided in Section 25-21. Any other allegations of misconduct received by the Commission from a person other than the Legislative Inspector General shall be referred to the Office of the Legislative Inspector General.”


  8. - Oratorn - Tuesday, Nov 14, 17 @ 5:54 pm:

    Well, every legislator link is weakest under Iron Mike’s grip, no?


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