Republicans, Democrats blame each other for stalemate
By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois
The last day on the job for the Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope was Thursday.
The office will be vacant on Friday.
“We have to reeducate ourselvestofightthecorruption that exists under the Capitol dome,” Sen. Jil Tracy, R– Quincy, who chairs the Senate Ethics Commission, said during a news conference Thursday.
Pope,aformerprosecutorand appellate court judge, tendered her resignation in July. She called the office a “paper tiger” and blasted lawmakers saying they “demonstrated true ethics reform is not a priority.” She originally said her last day wouldbeDec.16,butagreedto stayonuntiltheJan.6toallow moretimeforherpositiontobe filled.
“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 theDemocratmembersofthe (Legislative Ethics Commission) 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.”
The search for a new LIG began after Pope announced her resignation in July. The position was posted and the search committee was formed. Two candidates were recommended, but the Legislative Ethics Committee made up of four Democrats and four Republics couldn’t come to a decision.
Senator Tracy is right on one thing, the people of Illinois deserve better.”
During the news conference, Tracy noted a complaint was filed with the LIG on Dec. 23 but no investigation was started due to Pope’s departure.
This has led to renewed calls
Sen. Tracy said new legislation, Senate Bill 3030, 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.