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Report: Ethics complaint filed against Murashko, Deputy Governor Childress probed

Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Mark Maxwell at WCIA

Governor Rauner swatted down questions on Tuesday about the abrupt and unceremonious exit of his longtime legal adviser Dennis Murashko.

Security guards led Murashko out of the James R. Thompson Center just days after he penned a now-leaked memo which contained warnings against mixing politics and official state business. [This article has been updated to clarify that sources who witnessed Murashko’s exit from the Thompson Center initially described it as a security guard escort, but pressed for specifics, later recanted and acknowledged they could have been administration officials.] […]

At least one complaint was filed against Murashko with the Office of the Executive Inspector General, according to sources in the Governor’s office who saw the complaint. However, there is no available evidence to suggest that complaint ever triggered an official investigation. OEIG General Counsel Daniel Hurtado says thousands of complaints are filed with that office every year, but very few of them ever become full blown investigations. As a rule, the OEIG does not disclose any information about ongoing investigations or unresolved complaints. […]

Two sources tell WCIA they shared concerns about Murashko’s behavior in office with senior members of the administration before his departure, but on Tuesday, Rauner denied having any knowledge of personal ethical breaches involving Murashko.

“Not that I know of,” he said, “And you’re asking all kinds of questions based on rumor. Let me be clear. There is a lot of baloney rumors going around. You [reporters] are helping perpetuate them, and that’s wrong. You guys should not do that,” he scolded.

The anonymous complaint to the OEIG that I’ve seen claims Murashko engaged in “retaliation, intimidation, abuse of power and inappropriate office behavior.” As Maxwell notes, there’s no evidence yet that the complaint triggered an actual investigation.

I showed the anonymous complaint to Murashko the other day and he said: “The claims are ridiculous, false, and defamatory. They do not merit a further response. It’s sad that certain individuals turn political agendas into vicious personal attacks to distract from their own shortcomings. This is what discourages good people from serving in state government.”

Be that as it may, the anonymous complaint lists “Governor Bruce Rauner” on its “cc” list. But, of course, that’s not solid proof that the governor actually received it, or saw it or was told about it.

* Meanwhile, the governor confirmed that the Murashko memo I published last week was authentic. I already knew that, but here you go

Before he stepped down, Murashko penned an internal memo that laid out a series of guidelines about how the governor’s office should separate government work from work being done by Rauner’s campaign team.

On Tuesday, Rauner said that memo was “created at my urging,” calling it a matter of “good management.”

“In my administration, we have the highest expectation, the highest ethical standards. We have zero tolerance for bad behavior, zero tolerance for unethical behavior,” Rauner said.

* Back to Maxwell

WCIA has separately learned Deputy Governor Trey Childress was the subject of an investigation filed within the last six months, according to state employees who were called in for interviews with the OEIG. The findings and status of that investigation remain unknown, although at least one witness testified in his defense.

The problem with that investigation, I’m told, is that two people allegedly saw the same thing and then described it very differently to the investigators.

Keep in mind that an investigation doesn’t automatically make somebody guilty.

       

28 Comments
  1. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:27 am:

    “In my administration, we have the highest expectation, the highest ethical standards. We have zero tolerance for bad behavior, zero tolerance for unethical behavior,”

    For some reason, when I see that statement, this is what I think of… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sVdXg0aYYw


  2. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:34 am:

    the anonymous complaint lists “Governor Bruce Rauner” on its “cc” list. But, of course, that’s not solid proof that the governor actually received it, or saw it or was told about it.

    Bruce probably just forwarded it to whoever’s in charge.

    – MrJM


  3. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    I am a democrat, and not a fan of this governor, but we must be avoid rush to judgement. People like Trey Childress have enormous responsibility in state government, and for good reason. I’ve never heard anybody say anything about him that wasn’t positive. This time will pass, and we need to let government function. We cannot scream corruption each time a mistake is made, or poor judgement is exhibited. Governing is difficult. We must not continue creating a hostile environment where smart and dedicated people wish to serve. Lets settle down with the accusations and rushes to judgement!


  4. - Sigh - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    As part of investigative journalism, can one of the reporters FOIA the FOIA log for the Governor’s office? I have no proof, but this anonymous complaint, in which the Governor was cc’d sounds like an instance where someone would cc the Governor & the turn around and FOIA the Governor’s office for the correspondence.

    If someone is going to make an complaint to the OEIG, I have a hard time believing that they would give the Governor a heads up on the complaint and potential investigation.


  5. - Sugar Corn - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    What is the accusation about Trey Childress about?


  6. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    == Bruce probably just forwarded it to whoever’s in charge. ==

    I thought Madigan didn’t have email …


  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Well done RNUG


  8. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    So the rumor the ethics was written after the other antics as fail safe cover to persuade GovJunk to forget the antics is “fake news”


  9. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    ==People like Trey Childress have enormous responsibility in state government, and for good reason. I’ve never heard anybody say anything about him that wasn’t positive. This time will pass, and we need to let government function. We cannot scream corruption each time a mistake is made, or poor judgement is exhibited. ==

    Yeah ok, at least we got to hear from Trey Childress’ press secretary today. Everyone screamed corruption every time a mistake was made when Dem Quinn was in charge, but now we should hold off on judgement for poor ole Trey. Sure we should.

    ==Be that as it may, the anonymous complaint lists “Governor Bruce Rauner” on its “cc” list. But, of course, that’s not solid proof that the governor actually received it, or saw it or was told about it==

    Only in government is this type of excuse accepted. For every other person on the planet, this means you were informed. Period. And it’s your responsibility to have made yourself aware of the content of the email.


  10. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    ==We cannot scream corruption each time a mistake is made, or poor judgement is exhibited. Governing is difficult. We must not continue creating a hostile environment where smart and dedicated people wish to serve. Lets settle down with the accusations and rushes to judgement!==

    Are you talking to us? Or the Guv?


  11. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    =I thought Madigan didn’t have email …=

    I assume Brown does though….the boss doesn’t like to use phones or email, and he doesn’t like anyone to hear what he is saying.


  12. - Rabid - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Raunergate the gift that keeps on giving , I’m not in charge, will never get old


  13. - old time golfer - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    When will his investigation start over the no bid contracts to McKinsey?


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    I’m guessing the “anonymous” complaint was an inside job designed to create a rationale for getting someone pushed out (much like Dennis described). This is standard operating procedure for some in the administration who have ulterior motives to advance their own agenda and need to create a rationale to convince the big bosses on why someone needs to be replaced.


  15. - Magic Dragon - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Sorry, Anonymous at 10:23 was me.


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    ===So the rumor the ethics was written after the other antics as fail safe cover to persuade GovJunk to forget the antics is “fake news” ===

    Where do you get that? The anonymous complaint was sent in July. Murashko submitted his ethics advisory memo in August.


  17. - MoreQuestions - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    ===Where do you get that? The anonymous complaint was sent in July.”===

    Rich, how do you know that the complaint was actually sent to the OEIG and the Governor in July? Could’ve been dated in July and sent later, no?


  18. - Donnie - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    ==This is what discourages good people from serving in state government==

    “Good people”, You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean, Dennis.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    ===Could’ve been dated in July and sent later, no? ===

    As I’ve noted on this blog before, I received it in July.


  20. - MoreQs - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    ===”I received it in July.”===

    Exactly. You did. But you are not the OEIG. Nor the Gov (which may be a good thing).


  21. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Some think the memo was designed to “hint” that the details of running the campaign on taxpayer cash were forthcoming. How do you pronounce whistler become whistle blower? it is a harsh assessment and hard to believe given the sheer genius demonstrated by GovJunk & Co.


  22. - Correction - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    “Security guards led Murashko out of the James R. Thompson Center”

    OK, I saw this first-hand. No guards just a couple of lawyers … Kenton Skarin, who unfortunately replaced Murashko as GC (he actually didn’t last long) and the head labor guy, Jack Vret. Looked rather mild–like three colleagues leaving the office together. Facts, Maxwell, facts.


  23. - sal-says - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    == Bruce probably just forwarded it to whoever’s in charge. ==

    Madigan?
    Thought he didn’t use email.

    LOL.


  24. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    - Correction - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    OK, I saw this first-hand. No guards just a couple of lawyers … Kenton Skarin, who unfortunately replaced Murashko as GC (he actually didn’t last long) and the head labor guy, Jack Vret. Looked rather mild–like three colleagues leaving the office together. Facts, Maxwell, facts.

    Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for kids!

    So are facts!


  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    –OEIG General Counsel Daniel Hurtado says thousands of complaints are filed with that office every year, but very few of them ever become full blown investigations. –

    From their annual report:

    –In FY2017, State employees and other whistleblowers submitted 2,632 complaints involving 95 government agencies, vendors,
    and contractors. We opened 107 investigations, completed 98 pending investigations, and delivered 29 reports determining
    that a reasonable basis existed to believe that wrongdoing occurred.–

    I make that a 4% chance a complaint will result in an investigation. Sweet odds, if you’re up to no good.


  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    –People like Trey Childress have enormous responsibility in state government, and for good reason. I’ve never heard anybody say anything about him that wasn’t positive.–

    You’ve missed some discussions on the Cap Fax about no-bid contracts.


  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    –So the rumor the ethics was written after the other antics as fail safe cover to persuade GovJunk to forget the antics is “fake news” –

    LOL, I understand your efforts here and why, but that is completely incoherent.


  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 1:52 pm:

    Correction, Vrett is gone now too.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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