Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - $1 million check cashed *** Attorney general shoots down Erika Harold prosecution idea
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*** UPDATED x2 - $1 million check cashed *** Attorney general shoots down Erika Harold prosecution idea

Friday, Aug 10, 2018

* Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold on WLS AM

Rauner says he’s investing $4M to chip away at Speaker Madigan’s House majority and $1M to Harold because she’d prosecute Madigan for corruption.

That would be hard to do because she’d be barred by law from convening a grand jury to consider political corruption, but she told Bill Cameron on a recent “Connected to Chicago” program, how she’d get around that.

“There is statutory authority under the current law that enables the attorney general to conduct investigations if any of the inspector generals find evidence of misconduct. I would use that authority and that ability robustly.”

The full audio is here. I asked Harold’s campaign yesterday afternoon for the statutory citation and never heard back.

* But this is from the attorney general’s office…

1) For non-criminal ethics act actions, that’s correct. If an IG wants to bring an action before the EEC (or LEC) we handle those cases. And even if the IG does not want to pursue an action, there are a few very narrow routes where we can still push the case forward. We use that authority robustly and have worked very closely with all of the Executive IGs. But this work requires referrals from the IG or EEC/LEC. The idea of originating/initiating investigations using that authority - separately and independently from the IGs - is incorrect.

2) When an IG has a complaint/is conducting an investigation and believes he or she has identified possible criminal conduct, the ethics law requires a referral to an appropriate prosecutor. The IG can choose to refer to a US Attorney, a State’s Attorney (in the appropriate county) or our office. But if we get that referral, we have to ask the permission of the appropriate State’s Attorney to use his or her grand jury - which means we have to ask permission to handle the case and if the State’s Attorney wants to take it or do it jointly with us, we do not have an option. If the idea is that the ethics law/IG referral process somehow gives us access to a grand jury that we otherwise do not have or expands the criminal law and gives us original/primary criminal jurisdiction that we otherwise do not have, that is incorrect.


*** UPDATE 1 *** From the Harold campaign…

Erika never suggested in her interview with Cameron that the AG has prosecutorial authority under the Ethics Act. Rather, Erika said this to Bill Cameron: “There is statutory authority under the current law that enables the attorney general to conduct investigations if any of the inspector generals find evidence of misconduct…” That authority is found within the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (linked/copied below), and those are the statutes Erika was referencing in her interview with Cameron. Accordingly, your assertion that AG Madigan “[shot] down” a “prosecution idea” from Erika based on those statutes is incorrect.

One final note, contrary to what anyone else says, Erika has been clear for quite some time that she will not use the office to punish political opponents: “…And by public corruption, I’m not talking about using the office as a way to punish political opponents…”

* And here’s Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti on WTAX today

REPORTER: Yesterday we’ve been running a story this morning that the governor said he’s given money to Ericka Harold and if she wins, she should prosecute Mike Madigan. What are your thoughts on that? Does that put Ericka Harold, should she win, in kind of an awkward position that the governor says, look I donated to her campaign here and she should prosecute Mike Madigan?

SANGUINETTI: Well, Ericka Harold is a fine young woman in her own power, and I admire her a lot, she is a wonderful attorney and I am sure she is going to be an amazing attorney general. And I know she will have a focus on corruption because Illinois, unfortunately, is popular for that very reason and that’s the whole reason why Bruce Rauner and I signed on. We’re simply tired of being known worldwide as the state that has all the corruption, so I’m very happy that Ericka Harold will focus on that and I know she will be completely independent.

REPORTER: So you agree with the governor there?

SANGUINETTI: Well I agree that we have a corruption problem and the governor is spot on in that regard. You know Michael Madigan has been around since I was three months of age. That’s a lot of time in which to amass power, have people around you and have the sort of clout, the sort of power that he has, and it simply has to stop because we need to look out for all Illinoisans, not just his special interest powers.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Gov. Rauner made good on his pledge to contribute $1 million to Erika Harold’s campaign. Click here for the A-1.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    I’m a little surprised that Harold didn’t push back on Rauner.

    Rauner says he’s giving Harold $1 million because she will then prosecute his political opponent, Madigan, if elected.

    Quid pro quo.

    That’s quite a testament from Rauner as to what he believes are Harold’s ethics.

  2. - PJ - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    I want to hear some law and order Republicans comment on Rauner’s statement. “I’m giving 1 million to Erika Harold because I need her to prosecute my political opponent, the authority for which she wouldn’t even legally possess”.

    That sound like the American way to you folks? If a South American banana republic president said something to that effect, the State Department would condemn it.

  3. - thunderspirit - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    Competent lawyer explaining the law, or corrupt Madigan protecting Daddy? I’m sure the answer depends somewhat on your political opinions.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    I know now Harold is in to go after Madigan, and Rauner is funding her to go after Madigan… so Harold is willing, for a million dollars, to go after whoever Rauner chooses?

    Is *that* the takeaway I’m suppose to have?

    Seems like both Harold and Rauner want me to think that…

    The AG is trying to show the actual role and laws that might gum up the works on this deal.

  5. - PJ - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    If a million is the Mike Madigan prosecution bounty, what do you think the price is for smaller fish? You think if he kicks in another 100k, she’ll also prosecute some kids who bullied him in high school?

    Is there a buy-one-get-one-free type situation?

  6. - Nick Name - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    Rauner misses his wingman and wants another one.

  7. - Molly Maguire - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    I guess too much to expect that Erika Harold would do anything other than be a sock puppet for Bruce, and imitate his worst instincts

  8. - DuPage - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Wow. Political prosecution for sale.

  9. - DeseDemDose - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    What would Munger do?

  10. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    Setting aside her tenuous grasp of the office’s statutory authority to go after public corruption and other crimes, would someone please tell her that it’s inspectors general?

  11. - Texas Red - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    The IG under Harold would perhaps have a more robust application of his/her duties when it comes to MJM..

    ” The Inspector General may also file a complaint before the Executive Ethics Commission. In addition, the Inspector General may refer cases for criminal prosecution.”

  12. - My New Handle - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    As they march toward November, Rauner, Harold, and indeed the Republicans in general, have ditched any moral compasses they may have been carrying to lighten the load along the trail. Why Rauner isn’t up on charges of bribery is beyond me.

  13. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    When Rauner is “funding” someone he expects something in return. He made that clear with the GA and he’s making it clear with Harold.

  14. - Montrose - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    Can someone send me the Erika Harold menu so I know what she is charging to use her authority robustly to go after the person of your choosing? I am hoping it is a sliding scale.

  15. - Fishingvest - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    The AG’s response sets forth their authority to conduct an investigation that limits their authority. In addition, I don’t believe that the AG has the budget or the expertise to conduct such a high profile investigation as one of commentators pointed several years ago.

  16. - Keyrock - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Thunderspirit - no, it depends on your ability to read the Comstitution and statutes.

    You can fairly “because Madigan” for the lack of a statute having been passed to give the AG prosecution authority for corruption cases. But the AG is accurately reading what the law currently says.

  17. - A Jack - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    So Harold wants to get around the laws? That does not sound like a person who should be AG.

    What other laws might she try to get around: abortion, gay rights, anything else she might be philosophically opposed to upholding?

  18. - DarkHorse - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    I used to think Harold had a chance to win, as she’d probably rack up newspaper endorsements, then use GOP millions to publicize on TV, and come across as independent and a balance to the Dems. Now she’s gummed up in a prosecution for hire narrative - complicates that route to victory.

  19. - CharlieKratos - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    Isn’t it “Inspectors General”, not “Inspector Generals”? You’d think a prospective AG would know that.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    ===One final note, contrary to what anyone else says, Erika has been clear for quite some time that she will not use the office to punish political opponents: “…And by public corruption, I’m not talking about using the office as a way to punish political opponents…”===

    Oh, Harold Crew, lol

    You can type “Bruce Rauner”…

    The check will clear all the same.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    I think the beauty queen inhaled too much hairspray.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    It took the Harold Crew a whole day to come up with that statement.

    Maybe they were waiting for the million dollars in an EFT or check before claiming that for a million dollars Harold will not prosecute anyone Rauner wants?

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    Curious that Patrick Fitzgerald didn’t prosecute Madigan during his ten-year-run here, if it were such a slam dunk.

    He must have been part of the Double-Secret-Probation Combine.

  24. - DarkHorse - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Raoul must be laughing. Here his behind in the polls opponent is playing defense with less than 90 days left.

  25. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:54 am:

    The most cogent argument that I hear from Rauner and Sanguinetti is that Madgigan is corrupt because he’s been around a long time. At what point does tenure become the proxy for corruption? Are there other elected officials who are similarly corrupt because they’ve been around awhile?

  26. - seems you're missing the campaign, for the trees - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    he’s simply staying on the anti-Madigan lines to motivate more red voters state-wide; i.e. the issue need not be a direct connect

  27. - Texas Red - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:01 pm:


    Try keeping up, MJM corruption battle scars include…McPier.. IDOT hiring scandal… Quinn.. Mapes ..

  28. - Harold Heckuba - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    It’s actually the opposite of prosecutorial powers under the Ethics Act. The AG acts as the defense attorney for state managers and directors when they violate the Ethics Act. If a state manager violates the Ethics Act against an employee or group of employees, the AG defends the violator in civil proceedings.

  29. - Annonin' - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:17 pm:

    Is the GOPie AG candidate to dopey to realize her positions are totally compromised and any thought she has been totally hollowed out by GovJunk and the million dollar fee.

  30. - A Jack - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    The Lt. Gov’s justification for this proposed political witch hunt is because the Speaker has been around a long time?

    So Sad.

  31. - Flynn's Mom - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    @DeseDemDose.. Munger would do as she was told by Rauner.

  32. - DeseDemDose - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    Munger Munger…Come out, Come out, Wherever you are…

  33. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    This disgraceful corrupt bargain between Rauner and Harold is sickening. But considering they both march in lockstep with Donald Trump, it’s not surprise they aren’t above using government to persecute political opponents.

  34. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:29 pm:

    =Try keeping up, MJM corruption battle scars include…McPier.. IDOT hiring scandal… Quinn.. Mapes ..=

    Sounds like you have the inside dope. Maybe you should call the U.S. attorney and hand over your evidence so they can commence to investigatin’.

  35. - Jon Bauman - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    “MJM corruption battle scars include..McPier..”

    Wasn’t Rauner a bigwig in some capacity over there? Better bring him in too, under this highly advanced definition of corruption.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===Gov. Rauner made good on his pledge to contribute $1 million to Erika Harold’s campaign. Click here for the A-1.===


    “Maybe they were waiting for the million dollars in an EFT or check before claiming that for a million dollars Harold will not prosecute anyone Rauner wants?”

    Hmm… x2?

  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:58 pm:


    The Harold Crew waits a whole day, cashes the million dollar check… then repudiates the premise, without naming Rauner in the statement?

    What the what?

  38. - DarkHorse - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    Poll Question:

    “Given what you’ve read and heard over the past two days, are you now more likely - or less likely - to vote for Erika Harold for AG?”

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