* Deep within a Tribune story about the Senate’s new ethics bill (subscribers were given more details last week) is a little nugget…
While the bill wouldn’t give the legislative inspector general the full level of autonomy those who’ve held the office say is necessary, it would make the position a full-time job with posted office hours — which [Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope] said would be a waste of taxpayer money. She now works on an as-needed basis.
“Even if you had office hours, there would be a person sitting in the office with nothing to do,” Pope said at a recent Senate hearing “The demand for hours is just simply not there, which is a good thing in my opinion.”
Lawmakers argue that having a full-time inspector general would an important signal to the public.
“While it may not be a good perception to have an office of people that aren’t working full time, I also don’t think it’s a good perception, visual, to have an office that’s closed, that the lights are out, that nobody knows when it’s open either,” Gillespie said at the hearing. “I think it’s important for our residents of Illinois to start to establish trust in their legislature if they know that this is something we’re taking this seriously.”