Illinois Co (ECWd) –
In light of the multi-part series, we have published recently regarding the activities taking place in the Office of the Governor, specifically, Washington DC campaign figures driving policy with direct communications to state officials in the Governor’s Office, we looked closely at our Illinois State Ethics Act.
We focused on the three parts of the law that we believe have been violated based on the information provided in these four articles: (#1, #2, #3, and #4) as well as the memo from the Governor’s own general counsel. The memo appears to be a warning shot to the Governor that lines are being crossed as it relates to campaigning on state time and with state resources. When reading all the information as a whole, it points to possible ethics violations.
(5 ILCS 430/5-15) Prohibited political activities.
(a) State employees shall not intentionally perform any prohibited political activity during any compensated time (other than vacation, personal, or compensatory time off). State employees shall not intentionally misappropriate any State property or resources by engaging in any prohibited political activity for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or any political organization.
(b) At no time shall any executive or legislative branch constitutional officer or any official, director, supervisor, or State employee intentionally misappropriate the services of any State employee by requiring that State employee to perform any prohibited political activity (i) as part of that employee’s State duties, (ii) as a condition of State employment, or (iii) during any time off that is compensated by the State (such as vacation, personal, or compensatory time off).
(c) A State employee shall not be required at any time to participate in any prohibited political activity in consideration for that State employee being awarded any additional compensation or employee benefit, in the form of a salary adjustment, bonus, compensatory time off, continued employment, or otherwise.
As we have done in the past, when we believe violations of law have taken place we provide the applicable information to the appropriate agency for an independent investigation.
In this case, we have filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Executive Inspector General (OEIG). A copy of our complaint can be viewed below or downloaded at this link.
Considering the campaign driven messaging points to a willingness to give something in order to get support and endorsements, there may be further concerns for those involved in this politics over policy operation.OEIG Complaint Gov. Rauner
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mrsmithknowsPosted at 21:15h, 13 March
Your work and concern is admirable. The issue is clear and definitely one of merit. Hopefully the OEIG addresses the issue and you do not receive a letter in a couple of weeks saying “The Office of Executive Inspector General (OEIG) has received and reviewed your complaint, and has determined that it is more appropriate for your allegations to be addressed by the “insert office name”. Therefore , we have referred your complaint to that office. Any future questions that you may have about the status of your complaint should be directed to that office”. Unfortunately this is the reply that many of us get when trying, many times as a last resort, to address issues of ethics, policy and rules. Seems a bit like referring the fox back into the henhouse. Like many things in government – sounds good on the surface but many times does not address the issue and at times is used as a targeted tool by those Departments, Agencies, Offices in question. Many times discussing with elected representatives is also fruitless. Time for a change of philosophy and real desire to address ethics and rules. Keep up the good work!