State Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, likened the corruption cases to recent sexual harassment scandals in Springfield, saying both flourish because those who know about them say nothing.
“There’s a culture down here of a cone of silence,” she said.
State Rep. Grant Wehrli, R-Naperville, said lawmakers who do speak out are often punished.
“Leaders abuse the legislative process to silence those that dissent in having the integrity to call out what it is going on around here,” Wehrli said. “I take it as a form of overt bullying, and it needs to stop.”
* More from Sen. Castro’s comments…
If people see something, or know of something, they should be reporting it. I sit on the Legislative Ethics Commission, and when you talk about sexual harassment, we worked really tirelessly to help people understand and feel comfortable to report that type of behavior. We should be doing this with this as well. […]
With everything that happened with Sen. Sandoval, you see the comments in different areas that say, ‘Oh yes this is true, this happened to me, he bullied me here he shook me down for this.’ It goes back to it shouldn’t take the FBI to come and handle the situation, right? It should be that folks should step forward and report those instances right away. And that’s how you stop the unethical behavior, that’s how you change the culture. […]
Lobbyists sometimes also operate in a cone of silence and they should come forward and report improper activity.
The “comments” she was talking about, I’m told, are some of this site’s reader comments about Sandoval’s behavior.
* What Rep. Wehrli actually said…
I serve in the minority party and I’ve been a vocal critic of the process around here. And in return for that, what has happened is I’ve had bills that just don’t go anywhere. I mean, there’s an abuse of the legislative process to silence those that dissent and have the integrity to call out what is going on around here. I take that as a form of overt bullying and it needs to stop. So when you talk about calling it out, yes, I 100 percent agree, but every legislator knows that if they do that there are certain repercussions that are going to happen. That is unacceptable, it’s unethical and that needs to stop.