Illinois (ECWd) –
In Illinois we continue to find bad actors in our local government and elected and/or appointed boards that go out of their way to cover it up, justify it, defend it, and even reward their actions with massive payouts. Why?
While many are familiar with the Michigan State University and Olympic Doctor who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young girls, how many have noticed how others in that state reacted?
The Michigan State University, who for years apparently ignored complaints of this Doctor’s sexual abuse, is now looking for a new president.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon has resigned over the actions of the former MSU employee but there is more. “The list of those calling for her job now includes current MSU trustees Mitch Lyons and Dianne Byrum, the Michigan House of Representatives, several state senators, gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, State House Speaker Tom Leonard, newspapers across the nation and dozens of survivors of Nassar’s sexual abuse.” (The State News)
In Illinois, we find a huge contrast from what went on in Michigan.
- College of DuPage – Massive abuse of power and confirmed violations of law by past officials yet the Board of Trustees at the time voted to pay over $700K dollars to the man in charge to walk away.
- Northern Illinois University – A scathing State Audit exposing abuse of our laws by the President yet the Board of Trustees vote to pay over $600,000.00 to the guy that was responsible for the wrongdoing to just walk away.
- Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino – Clear misuse of campaign funds that generated his refusal to cooperate with the State Board of Elections and his invoking his 5th amendment rights coupled with a US Attorney criminal investigation, yet he still holds office with no indications of resigning.
- Chicago State Univesity President Thomas Calhoun worked just nine months as Chicago State’s president before being offered a $600,000 taxpayer-funded buyout by university trustees in 2016. Calhoun replaced Wayne Watson, who “retired” before his contract was up amid several high-profile whistleblower lawsuits, declining enrollment, and financial problems. Watson himself got his own parachute, as he was appointed to an emeritus position after his “retirement” so he could continue to be paid for the remainder of his contract.
- Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan received a $480,000 going away present after an altercation with a grounds crew supervisor at his university-owned home. Flanagan, who spent only seven months in the job, was convicted of disorderly conduct at a bench trial after his dismissal.
- Gifford Grade School’s superintendent falsified documents for years that dealt directly with child safety, yet the School Board did nothing other than telling him to comply with his obligated duties and issue an apology. He got to keep his job!
What is the huge contrast?
- Silence from our Governor
- Silence from our Attorney General
- Silence from our General Assembly
- Silence from our State Senate
- Silence from the mainstream media
While those who have a bully pulpit to speak from stay silent, the local boards that permitted the above action to be rewarded continue to send a message. A message that in Illinois, ethics and principles have no place. The days of leaders doing the right thing and being proactive to stop illegal and abusive activity in their organizations have been replaced with high priced taxpayer-funded lawyers who direct boards down a path of billable hours.
While many say it’s cheaper, in the long run, to pay the bad actors to go away instead of terminating them for cause, the fact of the matter is, doing that prevents anyone from being held accountable for their actions. That message has now grown legs in Illinois! It’s the way we do business and public officials know it.
More often than not, public officials taken the position that the path of least resistance is the best option so we ignore, defend, justify, and reward bad actors in our local government instead of demanding resignations and prosecutions.
Most are familiar with the phrase, “All it takes for Evil to take over is for a few good men to do nothing.”
Illinois citizens have done nothing for way too long! We no longer enforce our state Ethics laws nor stand on principles of doing the right thing. Ignoring the importance of ethical conduct and principles is doing nothing but further decaying our rule of law and the people’s trust in their government.
As a local government accountability nonprofit organization, we see how bad things really are and will continue to fight the Evil that has festered into our state. It’s time for people to get involved to fix their local government.
We will be hosting Watchdog training throughout the state this year and urge everyone to take time to attend this free training to better understand how easy it is to actually make a difference in their local community.
The training provided and put to use has lead to 166 criminal indictments in Illinois of which eight of those were in Federal cases. The model we have developed is duplicatable and works if you work it!
Check back for training dates.
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Pete MarwickPosted at 15:59h, 25 January
Has there been any federal charges against COD yet? I heard there is a trial set for the Lincoln-way superintendent. The Lincoln-way investigation started after COD.
jmkraftPosted at 18:32h, 25 January
mehPosted at 07:36h, 26 January
And don’t leave the feds out of this. Making litigation against these same boards all to expensive…
mark misiorowskiPosted at 16:19h, 25 January
Your article raises some interesting points, but it paints with too broad a brush. State Rep. Jeanne Ives did not sit by or remain silent during the College of DuPage (COD) fiasco. She led the fight for reform, while the other candidates for Illinois Governor, republican and democrat alike, sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing.
Rep. Ives spoke truth to power. She told the COD Board that the severance agreement was a bad idea and a waste of taxpayer dollars. In doing so, she advocated for all Illinois taxpayers. Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy were the NO SHOWS.
Rep. Ives then introduced legislation requiring the Office of State Auditor General to investigate COD from top to bottom. Jeanne Ives accomplished that. Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy were AWOL.
Rep. Ives then introduced legislation limiting future severance agreements on a state wide basis. Props to Rep. Ives, whereas Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy were TRUANT once again.
Rep. Ives then volunteered her personal time; she served on a special hiring committee at COD to select a new president for the college. And that new hire was instrumental in helping COD regain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy couldn’t be bothered; they were all MIA.
At COD, Rep. Ives demonstrated proven leadership time and time again. Rauner, Pritzker and Kennedy didn’t lift a finger for reform and never broke a sweat.
With that important caveat, the points you raised in your article are very well taken.
Kirk AllenPosted at 18:15h, 25 January
Yes, she did, however as the article stated, the General Assembly sat silently as a body. Some legislation was passed related to COD but overall, it was a battle to make it happen and the Speaker and GOP leader said NOTHING about any of the scandals outlined.
Warren J. Le FeverPosted at 16:54h, 25 January
Very correct article.
NiteCatPosted at 19:41h, 25 January
Ethics and principles are the equivalent of 4-letter words in IL politics. Enough to get you to blink, but not enough to get you to act.
J. MadisonPosted at 07:47h, 26 January
I hope Jeanne Ives is the next Governor. She is honest, intelligent, and knows how to repair the state of Illinois. Unfortunately, she is not Billionaire and we all know money buys access. How about putting “one of use,” the general public, in the Governor’s Mansion? Illinois deserves a break and Ives appears to be that person.
About COD. If the Feds can’t prove this one up in court, they have not looked, listened or bothered to do an investigation of their own. The aforementioned comment is also applicable to Auditor General Mautino. Was their ever a grand jury convened? If the US Attorney had bigger fish to fry – tell us!
Oh, and by the way, Rep. Ives was the only DuPage County state Senator or Representative to address the wrongdoing at COD and repeatedly call for Frank Mautino’s ouster.
Mary MelnikPosted at 16:04h, 31 January
Unless some people are made an example off, its going to continue to grow. Its a common theme at the municipal level throughout. School Boards, library boards, village boards. We need to remove the protections that current laws provide, but doubt our politicians are up for it.