Doubek: A Strong Start, But More Work Ahead On Legislative Ethics

The Legislative Inspector General no longer will have to ask for permission before launching an investigation into sexual harassment claims.

Mike Madigan, Illinois House Speaker (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The significant work of some strong women and men who started cleaning up a rigged ethics process in Springfield should not be lost amid the salacious claims about state Rep. Lou Lang or retaliation claims on behalf of House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Let’s consider the Madigan situation. A week ago, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy quit a part-time post with the Cook County Sheriff’s office, saying she was getting warning signs from Madigan’s chief of staff and another representative that they might retaliate against her, using that job as leverage over her.

A bit more than a week ago, Special Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter said in an email, she did not believe she had a conflict of interest investigating Madigan. This, despite the fact that he had a role in hiring her. Heather Weir Vaught, an attorney who represents Madigan, first reached out to Porter to see if she would be willing to serve, Porter told me. “I have never met or spoken to Michael Madigan,” Porter said. “Neither she nor Madigan hired me. I was appointed to serve by the Legislative Ethics Commission.”

Read the rest at the Chicago Sun-Times.

About the Author

Madeleine Doubek

Madeleine Doubek is an award-winning journalist who spent 32 years covering local and state government and politics. She previously served as publisher of Reboot Illinois. She has won several regional and national journalism awards during her career.