Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 *** Last day in office for LIG Carol Pope, who still has no replacement
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*** UPDATED x4 *** Last day in office for LIG Carol Pope, who still has no replacement

Thursday, Jan 6, 2022

* Press release…

Six months of stalling by legislative Democrats over selecting a new Legislative Inspector General has needlessly left Illinois without an urgently-needed ethics watchdog for state lawmakers, and thus more vulnerable to government corruption, according to State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) during a press conference today.

January 6 marks the final day that outgoing Legislative Inspector General (LIG) Carol Pope will be in office to perform her official duties. Following today, the Office and its staff will be empty, leaving complaints of wrongdoing unanswered and uninvestigated. Pope announced on July 14, 2021, that she would resign that post on Dec. 15, 2021, calling the LIG Office a “paper tiger” after a bill passed earlier in 2021 did not create meaningful ethics reform in Illinois. After an impasse within the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) to fill the vacant LIG position, Pope agreed to stay on through January 6.

As Chair of the LEC, Sen. Tracy has been working tirelessly for many months to find a replacement for Pope. However, several Democrat members of the LEC left a meeting before a vote was taken in October, saying they did not want to “rush the process,” and have since employed several other stalling tactics to confound the process and push for a candidate that was not recommended by the LEC’s Search Committee.

“Confirming a candidate before LIG Pope left has always been my top priority. It is unfortunate that my goal was not shared by some of the Democrat members of the LEC who did what they could to stall and circumvent the selection process,” Tracy said. “Our Search Committee interviewed multiple candidates and recommended two qualified candidates, and we should have been able to fill this position in a timely manner. But several Democrat members of the LEC did not commit to seeing the process through, and we find ourselves without a qualified LIG to address legislative ethics complaints.”

The 47th District Senator is also working to further empower the LIG – once a replacement is named – to root out corruption in the General Assembly. She is introducing legislation that would make important changes in the way the LEC processes ethics complaints against state lawmakers.\

Sen. Tracy is proposing common-sense reforms, Senate Bill 3030, that will:

    · Require LEC meetings to be open to the public, and have the meetings publicly posted;
    · No longer allow elected officials to serve as members of the LEC; and
    · Provide the LIG with subpoena power to investigate ethics complaints against members of the Illinois General Assembly.

“One of the major issues our Caucus focused on last year was attacking government corruption, and we took a major step toward rooting out the kind of unethical behavior and deception that plagues the Capitol. More common-sense reforms are needed, however. Illinoisans deserve an accountable and transparent government,” Tracy said. “The LEC should conduct its business in a public forum, and its members should not be elected officials. We are also seeking to give the LIG the tools to independently and effectively investigate allegations of ethical misconduct against state lawmakers.”

Sen. Tracy also serves as Chair of the Senate Ethics Commission, and a member of the Senate Ethics Committee.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Sen. Cristina Castro, a Democratic member of the Legislative Ethics Commission…

I’m disappointed that Senator Tracy continues to politicize a process that was intentionally set up to try to keep politics out. The fact is the Ethics Commission has been prepared to send names to the General Assembly but Senator Tracy and other Republicans blocked those votes. If not for those actions, we could have had a new inspector general in place

*** UPDATE 2 *** Sen. Tracy…

Using your supermajority to hand pick a candidate by going around the independent search committee is politicizing the process. The search committee dedicated many hours and thoroughly vetted each candidate. To completely disregard their recommendation is insulting and a disgrace to the people of Illinois who are demanding a corrupt-free government.

*** UPDATE 3 *** LEC Republican member Rep. Avery Bourne…

Republicans on the commission have all voted consistently to appoint to the office of LIG the unanimous selection of the independent and bipartisan search committee appointed by the four legislative leaders. We’re not playing politics, but the Democrats sure make it easy to point out their insincerity in calling for ethics reform. The last democratic chair of the LEC was indicted. Dem majorities passed a bill that further disempowered the LIG’s office forcing the resignation of LIG Pope. Democrats have voted against the unanimous selection of the search committee forcing a vacancy in the office. It’s more evidence Illinois Democrats are not serious about true anti corruption reforms.

*** UPDATE 4 *** LEC Democratic member Rep. Kelly Burke…

Senator Tracy’s claims today are wildly mischaracterizing the situation. Democrats have sought to advance two candidates for final selection, both of whom have been deemed qualified by the search committee and the LEC. Republicans have blocked that effort, insisting on only advancing their preferred candidate—even though both candidates have worked for former Governor Rauner and have demonstrated nonpartisan, professional expertise. In fact, both are also former federal prosecutors.

As we’ve said all along, this should be a straightforward process and we must end the political theater so we can fill this critical position. Senator Tracy is right on one thing, the people of Illinois deserve better.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    Is Pat Quinn looking for work?


  2. - cover - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    = Is Pat Quinn looking for work? =

    Is the sky blue?


  3. - Nefarious Veneer - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    – Is Pat Quinn looking for work? –

    He’d have to update his Hall of Gov’s portrait, which is the Pat Quinn equivalent of Roland Burris’ tombstone.


  4. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    ==Is Pat Quinn looking for work?==

    Might as well ask him, it’s an midterm election year and he hasn’t actually announced he’s running for something.


  5. - allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    Is this a surprise to anyone? What a laugher.


  6. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 11:41 am:

    ==Is Pat Quinn looking for work?==

    First day on the job Quinn will tell the GA to shape up or he will start passing petitions for Cutback Amendment 2. This time, it will also cut the size of the Senate in addition to further cutting the House.


  7. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    See, there’s so little corruption, we don’t even have an Inspector general. S/


  8. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    Her functional last day was July, when she cleared large items out of her office. Six months of work for doing nothing? Who investigates the investigators?


  9. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==Is Pat Quinn looking for work?==

    And most likely a few days into the job he does or says something stupid and childish. Including if he evokes the memories of Soy Boy and Squeezy.


  10. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    Listenin’ to Sen. Tracy sounds like a little derliction of duty…Pope pulls out with an unopened complaint. What if contains something other than overdue bills from the ‘MO? Get it going


  11. - northernwatersports - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:14 pm:

    Rich, I think you covered this recently. I remember suggesting that no one would take the job without the changes outlined in SB3030.
    Until that passes, with the aforementioned components, the office will be just as Ms. Pope describes. I don’t really see any members of the ILGA to actually vote Yes to give away any meaningful oversight.


  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===no one would take the job without the changes===

    That’s ridiculous. People applied, people want the job.


  13. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:18 pm:

    Hopefully the next LIG could be one who’s also a strong advocate for eliminating the GA’s exemptions from both FOIA and the State Records Act.


  14. - Nefarious Veneer - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:43 pm:

    Does Jil Tracy have a quorum for her bill?


  15. - NAEFC responder - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:08 pm:

    Hopefully the next LIG could be one who’s also a strong advocate for eliminating the GA’s exemptions from both FOIA and the State Records Act.“

    Wishing doesn’t make it so. The good government types seem to always complaint what they can’t get accomplished as opposed to focusing on what they can. Also, the McClain emails were released by a General Assembly office via FOIA. Straw men need not apply.


  16. - Nefarious Veneer - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    Nice of Senator Tracy to take what’s supposed to be a confidential hiring process and pick and choose what she wants to tell for political gain.

    After yesterday’s stunt, I’m trying to figure out why anyone pays any attention to them.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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