ROBINSON…This week, Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope has announced her resignation from the post she held for just over two years. Her resignation follows the failure of the General Assembly to enact stronger ethics laws. According to State Representative Chris Miller (R-Oakland), this is another sign of the corruption that has taken hold in Illinois.
“Several of my colleagues and I have stated for some time now that the corruption that permeates throughout Illinois won’t be contained by Band-Aids and half measures. This week’s news of Inspector General Pope’s resignation should send a loud and clear message that this inch by inch approach is not enough. If we are to truly reign in corruption we need to pass strong reforms that truly reduce the power and influence allowed by state office. We are here to work for the people, not get rich off of their hard-earned tax dollars and through backroom deals,” said Rep. Miller.
The 2021 Spring Legislative Session saw a package of ethics reforms pass both chambers as SB539. While the bill was saw as a bipartisan success, the reforms inside did not address some real concerns had by many members and by Pope. Pope, who described her job as a “paper tiger”, saw a bill that gave her the ability to initiate investigations, but limited her authority to issue subpoenas, limited her jurisdiction on investigations, and continues to allow a stymied Legislative Ethics Commission to avoid approving investigations. Rep. Miller voted NO on SB539.
“When it came to SB539, I found that nothing was in fact better than something. To restore public trust, we must pass real ethics reforms and they must include strengthening the Legislative Inspector General’s ability to do their job fully and uninhibited,” concluded Rep. Miller.