Stewart: Democrats’ vote circumvents process of vetting legislative watchdog

LIG candidate did not receive same level of review as other candidates

SPRINGFIELD – Following seven months of partisan games by legislative Democrats that stalled the process of selecting a legislative watchdog, legislative Democrats forced a vote on February 16 that totally undermines the established, lawful process of selecting a Legislative Inspector General (LIG), according to State Senator Brian Stewart (R-Freeport).

On February 16, the Senate Democrats forced through a resolution to select a candidate for the LIG post who has received neither a thorough vetting process, nor the same level of review as the prior LIG candidates who appeared before the Legislative Ethics Commission’s (LEC) stellar Bi-Partisan Search Committee.

“Democrat members of the LEC want to do everything their own way and they want their own candidate. When the established process did not give them who they wanted, they stalled,” said Stewart, who is a member of the LEC that has been working for months to find a new LIG. “A process has been put in place for this task, but the Democrat members chose to ignore it. To the public, it could appear that those lawmakers want to police themselves and hand-pick their ethics watchdog.”

January 6 was the last day that outgoing LIG Carol Pope was in office to perform her official duties. Since then, the Office and its staff have been empty, leaving complaints of wrongdoing unanswered and uninvestigated.

Pope announced on July 14, 2021, that she would resign that post on December 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 LEC to fill the vacant LIG position, Pope agreed to stay on through January 6, 2022.

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