Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Sens. Bush, Morrison want chairmanship stripped - Mendoza says Sandoval should step aside *** Leader Brady wants Sandoval chairmanship yanked
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*** UPDATED x2 - Sens. Bush, Morrison want chairmanship stripped - Mendoza says Sandoval should step aside *** Leader Brady wants Sandoval chairmanship yanked

Thursday, Oct 10, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tina Sfondeles

The two top Democrats in the state Senate see no reason to remove Sen. Martin Sandoval from his leadership position on a key committee despite a federal raid of his home and offices, putting them at odds with Gov. J.B. Pritzker and others in the Illinois Senate.

Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, on Wednesday joined Senate President John Cullerton in taking a wait-and-see attitude on Sandoval, whose Chicago home and Senate offices in Cicero and Springfield have been searched by federal agents. […]

But signaling a sign of dissension, Assistant Majority Leader Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, told the newspaper that it’s time for Sandoval to step down from the committee.

“It would be wise for Marty Sandoval to step down as chair of the Transportation Committee while this investigation unfolds,” Harmon said.

Subscribers know more about this topic. Some Senators are going a lot further than Harmon.

* Meanwhile…

*** UPDATE 1 *** I missed this one from Brian Mackey

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is joining calls for state Sen. Martin Sandoval to step down from his role as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. […]

“I think everybody that serves in this dome, and outside looking in, should be very concerned about these allegations,” Mendoza said. “And he should do the right thing and step aside.”

Asked whether she’s begun reviewing Sandoval’s spending requests, Mendoza said she has not. But she added she’ll be watching infrastructure spending.

“As the office that will be paying the checks for the $45 billion capital plan, we want to make sure we’re doing everything within our power to vet every single one of those, and make sure that they are 100 percent on the up and up and legitimate,” she said.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Subscribers already knew this

“If he doesn’t do it on his own, the Senate president should remove him from the Transportation Committee and from leadership as long as he’s under investigation,” said state Sen. Melinda Bush, a Grayslake Democrat. Bush has communicated her stance to Cullerton and to Pritkzer, she said. “When these kinds of behaviors are called into question, it reflects on all of us. It’s incumbent on us to make sure these individuals are removed from decision-making power positions until they’re cleared.” […]

Assistant Democratic leader Don Harmon said it would be “wise” for Sandoval to step down “while the investigation unfolds.” […]

“I would hope that after many years of service in the Senate, out of respect for the institution of the Senate and the people he represents, that (Sandoval) would voluntarily step down,” said [Sen. Julie Morrison], a Deerfield Democrat. “And if he chooses not to do so, I think the responsibility to remove him falls on the president of the Senate.”

But not this

Sen. Iris Martinez, a Transportation Committee member and assistant Democratic leader, said if she were in Sandoval’s position she would step down from the committee chair position as a “courtesy” to the other committee members while the investigation runs its course. But whether Sandoval steps down or is removed is ultimately something for Sandoval and Cullerton to decide, Martinez said.

Tribune reporters also talked to some Republicans.


  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 9:28 am:

    To the Post,

    Leader Brady is correct. Why do I think so?

    Let’s keep in mind it was the Illinois Senate that “decided” to redact the search warrant so the public couldn’t see.

    I have no idea what that search warrant demanded. Not knowing, and being withheld, then Marty should be forced to step down as chairman.

    As to other committee assignments, that’s up for discussion but for me not an obvious next move.

  2. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 9:52 am:

    We are beyond Wait and see if you did anything you get a lawyer and prepare to resign and look for cooperation and mercy just look at the admission scandal. Fighting something like this will end you up rotting Ike Blago. A Fortune 100 company is going to save itself.
    You may think you are something in Illinois but that only ticks the feds off more. And they are in a bad mood.

  3. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    The fact that two top Democrats support Marty means Marty has support in important places.

  4. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    It’s embarrassing to our entire State that Sandoval is still a Senator, let alone still in Leadership and a Chairman.

    Typical Illinois. Everyone is worrying about the poor corrupt Senator instead of the people. I guess us measly taxpayers are only here to empty our wallets on the counter for these pols to enrich themselves.

  5. - Chicagonk - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    I know Pritzker said he should step down, but he needs to keep repeating that message. He doesn’t need Sandoval. At some point, he will need to use his leverage to get Cullerton to make a decision.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    ===It’s embarrassing to our entire State that Sandoval is still a Senator, let alone still in Leadership and a Chairman.=•=

    Marty has not been indicted.

    We’re all taxpayers.

    ===support in important places.===

    Did you not read Rich’s column on the Madigan-Cullerton differences?

  7. - Birds on the Bat - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    An appointment as Deputy Auditor General seems like the perfect fit here.

  8. - Cassandra - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Couldn’t he at least take a leave from those positions until the investigation is over. He could do it voluntarily while also asserting his innocence.

    Feels like the Democrats are starting to slip back into the old ways. Plus ca change.

  9. - Steve - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:22 am:


    I did read Rich’s column. I assume that there’s more here than meets the eye. I say Marty still has support because he still has the Chairmanship. Maybe not enthusiastic support..

  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    ===I assume that there’s more here than meets the eye. I say Marty still has support because he still has the Chairmanship. Maybe not enthusiastic support.===

    Then you didn’t take much away from what Rich wrote, lol

  11. - JennaM - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    If Sandoval had any integrity, he should step down as Senator and Chairmanship. He’s a distraction.

  12. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    He should temporarily step down from chairmanship. He does not need to resign yet but will have to at some point. He has not even been charged with anything. Dorothy Brown was under suspicion for years and never charged. Presumed innocent remember?

  13. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    I am encouraged that people still think of the FBI as a non-political actor. I suspect they are understaffed in Illinois.

  14. - Amalia - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    Kudos to Laura Murphy for speaking on this, stating Sandoval should step down, in front of cameras.

  15. - A guy - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    It’s rather stunning after all these raids, which are not for ‘no reason at all’ that Sandoval is even in a position to be advised to step aside.
    That boat left the harbor the day of the raids. Had he acted quickly and voluntarily stepped aside, it might have done some good for him.
    By not doing so, and knowing the Senate President doesn’t like to impose discipline, he’s taking advantage. Which is a trait that has defined him his entire career.
    Dump him John. This isn’t a little smoke here. He’s damaging the entire institution with his selfish, smug arrogance. Vamanos!

  16. - Career Politician 2.0 - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    Senator Koehler’s reaction back in the day to the Rezko verdict. Interesting how he says this wouldn’t have gone this far if there wasn’t something to the charges in regards to Rezko. Yet, when a search warrant executed at the capitol on a fellow senator’s capitol office, district office and home, we should wait…..How often are search warrants executed at the capitol?

    Sandoval is entitled to due process, but each day this wide net investigation takes a new twist.

    Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria: “The outcome wasn’t a surprise. It wouldn’t have gone this far if there wasn’t something to the charges. I think the whole issue of this kind of politics is something many of us are trying to deal with in terms of ethics legislation.”

  17. - {Sigh} - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    From the Senate Rules…

    d) A vacancy on a committee, or in the Chairperson or Minority Spokesperson position on a committee, occurs when a member resigns from that position or ceases to be a Senator. Resignations shall be made in writing to the Secretary, who shall promptly notify the President and Minority Leader. Absent concurrence by a majority of those elected, or as otherwise provided in Rule 3-5, no member who resigns from a committee shall be reappointed to that committee for the remainder of the term. Replacement members shall be of the same caucus as that of the member who resigns, and shall be appointed by the President or Minority Leader, depending upon the caucus of the resigning member. In the case of vacancies on special subcommittees that were created by committees, any vacancy shall be filled pursuant to the motion adopted to create the subcommittee but if the motion does not specify how a vacancy is filled then the parent committee shall fill the vacancy by motion.

  18. - State Vendor - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    Mendoza shouldnt talk. How is it that my biz payments take 6 mo to come in, but others that no people get payments in no time? Nothing to see here folks.

  19. - {Sigh} - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    @State Vendor-

    What budget line are you paid out of? Are the other vendors that get paid in a shorter timeframe paid out of the same line or different lines? By chance do those other vendors qualify under hardship assistance? Are your vouchers clean vouchers (no paperwork issues) when they are submitted to the state agency? Is the state agency processing your vouchers in a timely manner?

    Also, not sure how your voucher timeframe relates to the Comptroller calling on the chairman of the Transportation Committee to step down.

  20. - Birdie - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    He should step down as committee chair. What if you are a contractor, or an association that advocates for transportation interests. What if a legitimate issue arises that requires committee action. Would you take that meeting with Chairman Sandoval to discuss your interests? Would you be surveiled? Would you be hyper sensitive to suggestions from chairman Sandoval as extortion attempts? Maybe you say that Sandoval will not hold such meetings due to the situation. Is that better? How do important transportation issues get addressed? He needs to step ahead and allow somebody not under investigation to run the committee, have the meetings, and deal with the groups. He needs to go yesterday. Who cares about the presumption of innocence. We aren’t condemning him to guilt by removing him from the committee. It would simply allow the committee members and all who encounter that committee to function. Grow up Sandoval. No MAS!

  21. - State Vendor - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Sigh: Thank U. U made my point and many others with those q’s by trying to act smart instead of offering to help. Why it’s relates is her friends get paid while I hav to wait. Playing Favorite.

  22. - don the legend - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    State Vendor, did Comptroller Munger pay you on time? Are you owed money because Rauner went two years without a budget and ran up $16 billion in IOUs?

  23. - State Vendor - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Donald - How long has Munger been gone? next q

  24. - don the legend - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    State Vendor, here you go. On November 8, 2016, Democrat Susana Mendoza defeated Munger in a special election for Illinois Comptroller.
    On February 3, 2017, Munger was hired as a staffer in the office of Governor Rauner with the title of deputy governor.

    So, did Comptroller Munger pay you on time?

  25. - {Sigh} - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    @State Vendor- I don’t think I made your point… you made an allegation, I simply asked questions which would explain why others might be paid in a shorter payment cycle. Are you paid from state funds or federal funds? Saying the Comptroller is paying her friends is a pretty bold accusation. I don’t make accusations or imply anything, unless I have the facts and have done my homework.

    =U made my point and many others with those q’s by trying to act smart instead of offering to help.=

    I’m in no position to help you. But to your comment about me acting smart - well, years ago I worked for a state agency and fielded questions from providers regarding payment cycle. So, I am educated on the topic. The questions I asked above are basic questions and if you were to call a reporter or the state agency that you are to receive payment from… well, they would ask you those same questions.

  26. - midway gardens - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    If the Senate Democratic leadership was in charge of NBC, Matt Lauer would still be on the air.

  27. - Birdie - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    I would add that mendoza’s entanglement in the whole Burke/Solis criminal enterprise makes her input here comical. What moral authority does she have to suggest Sandoval step down? She continued campaigning for Mayor for crying out loud, and remains comptroller, even though her actions with the vendor assistance kickback scheme to her campaign he not been fully resolved. I sure hope that wherever all of this is leading either implicates her, or clears her. As long as this cloud hangs over her head, she should not be commenting on what is or isn’t ethical.

  28. - The Most Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 10, 19 @ 6:54 pm:

    @Birdie with you on this. Mendoza’s decision to take that fat check from Solis is a red flag and someone on her team had to have known that and warned her. And let’s not forget that HDO connection runs deep. The woman has awful judgement.

  29. - State Vendor - Friday, Oct 11, 19 @ 7:32 am:

    What’s the Vendor Assistance kickback scheme? Id like to read more?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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