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Lawmakers shouldn’t have a say in ethics commission

State Journal Register

Monday, November 13, 2017  |  Letter to Editor  |  Harish G Bhatt

Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a)

In light of the recent complaints or accusations against some people in the Illinois legislature, I was shocked to know that the so-called Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission is composed of eight lawmakers. The worst yet, the same commission, or the same eight lawmakers, has the final say, the final approval over the appointment of a legislative inspector general. In my opinion, for victims or accusers, this is like a fox guarding the hen house.

There are already 27 complaints filed with the Legislative Ethics Commission in last two years, but since there was no legislative inspector general appointed until Nov. 4, these complaints had not been reviewed, hence they were not considered pending cases. No wonder why our self-centered, selfish, self-serving, so-called public servants lawmakers had not appointed the legislative inspector general until now. No inspector general, no case. They just appointed an interim inspector general and I hope they will keep themselves out of the rest of the investigation.

I think our lawmakers should not have any say in forming the Legislative Ethics Commission or the appointment of the inspector general. I would go further that instead of wasting taxpayer money forming an ethics commission and appointing the inspector general, complaints about misconduct in the legislature should be sent directly to the federal justice department and investigated by the FBI without any interference from the legislature or any lawmaker.

Harish G. Bhatt

Springfield