SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the Democrat’s commitment to ensure ethical oversight over the General Assembly, the Illinois House of Representatives took decisive action to appoint Michael McCuskey, a veteran judge of both federal district court and state circuit court, as the next Legislative Inspector General. After decades of service that routinely earned bipartisan support, Justice McCuskey expressed interest in continuing his public service to help restore confidence in state government.
“Our search for the candidate to fill the role of Legislative Inspector General has been lengthy, but in Michael McCuskey, we have found the right person,” said Representative Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park), a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission. “His extensive experience as both a lawyer and a judge, as well as his lengthy tenure on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, make McCuskey ideally-suited for such a critical role.”
“I’m happy we have been able to identify such a strong candidate for this position, and I have every confidence that Justice McCuskey will fulfill his responsibilities well,” said Representative Maurice West (D-Rockford), also a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission. “I was happy to see several of my Republican colleagues join us in filling this vitally important role.”
Michael McCuskey started his professional life as a history teacher and baseball coach, but quickly shifted his focus to the law. After getting his law degree from Saint Louis University in 1975, he served as a civil and criminal attorney at Pace, McCuskey and Galley for 13 years, during which he worked part-time as a public defender in Marshall County.
McCuskey began serving as a resident circuit judge in Peoria in 1988, before becoming an appellate court judge in Ottawa from 1990 through 1998. He was appointed to that role by President Clinton, and confirmed by a GOP-controlled Senate. From 1998 through 2014, he was a district court judge for Central Illinois, and a 10th Circuit Court judge starting in 2014 until his retirement in 2020.
“Justice McCuskey is a man who has been praised by Democrats and Republicans for fairness, impartiality and integrity,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside). “The position of Legislative Inspector General has sat vacant long enough. Today, the Illinois House acted in a bipartisan way and voted in favor of oversight and ethics.”
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