SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, is fighting to end the practice of state lawmakers policing themselves with a major ethics reform bill he recently introduced to strengthen the independence of the Office of the Legislative Inspector General.
“When we have lawmakers policing themselves or their peers, that’s how bad actors continue to get away with bad behavior,” said Carroll. “Any allegation of harassment or misconduct needs to be taken seriously and should be thoroughly investigated without bias, which is impossible to do within our current system.”
Carroll’s House Bill 4558 would allow the legislative inspector general to move forward with an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing against a member of the legislature, without approval from the lawmakers who sit on the Legislative Ethics Commission. Additionally, the measure grants authority to the legislative inspector general to make summary reports public in the case of a finding of wrongdoing. Carroll’s bill comes as former Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter recently testified to the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform that members of the Legislative Ethics Commission blocked her from publishing findings from her own investigations—findings that confirmed misconduct by a lawmaker.
“Residents who entrusted lawmakers to act in their best interest have every right to know if an elected official is behaving unethically or inappropriately,” said Carroll. “This bill adds much-needed transparency to ethics investigations to help crack down on corruption and hold lawmakers accountable.”