Dome

New legislation in Springfield would stop the Legislative Ethics Officer from shutting down investigations into lawmakers.

As part of a sweeping federal corruption probe, the General Assembly recently has seen multiple resignations, offices raided, and even a conviction.

News broke in 2018 that Illinois’ Legislative Inspector General, the person responsible for investigating unethical behavior under the dome, often was blocked by the Legislative Ethics Commission. That’s a panel of lawmakers that doesn’t release its decisions to the public. State Representative Jonathan Carroll, Democrat of Northbrook, is sponsoring a bill that would put a stop to that.

House Bill 4558 would require the investigator to tell the panel of lawmakers that a probe has started. But the commission no longer would be able to kill it or keep it hidden from the public. Carroll says he sponsored the bill because lawmakers should be able to prove they’re not hiding anything behind their votes in Springfield.

Former Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter said last week that the commission had killed a number of her serious investigations.

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