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The Majority Report 11/06/17 - Legislative ethics commission appoints inspector general, new member


Legislative ethics commission appoints inspector general, new member

Capitol BuildingWith reports about sexual harassment and other complaints going uninvestigated, the Legislate Ethics Commission held an emergency meeting Saturday to appoint a legislative inspector general to the post that was vacant for two years.

Former U.S. Attorney Julie Porter was appointed to begin the process of investigating complaints and ethics violations in the legislature.

Porter is well known for her work trying complex cases, such as the corruption case that led to the convictions of Illinois powerbroker Bill Cellini and top Mayor Richard Daley's top aide Robert Sorich, among others. Porter worked at the U.S. Attorney's office for 12 years and was appointed chief of the office's criminal division before leaving to join a private practice in Chicago.

Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), the newest member of the Legislative Ethics Commission as of Friday, Nov. 3, said she was pleased with Porter's appointment.

"Julie Porter has a proven record of fighting public corruption as the Assistant United States Attorney," Castro said. "She has extensive experience seeking justice for the people of Illinois. I look forward to seeing her get to work as our new Inspector General. I'm confident she will work swiftly and thoroughly to investigate and resolve all outstanding complaints."

Castro said she intends to push the agency to be more timely and responsive in its handling of complaints.

"I want to make it clear that I intend to help drive a culture of swiftness in the actions of the Commission," Castro said. "When there are accusations of wrongdoing, I intend to be thoughtful and fair - but the Commission should make every effort to act in a timely manner."


Illinois takes action to aid Puerto Rico, welcome evacuees

Sens. Omar Aquino and Iris Y. MartinezIn the past few weeks, the governor has taken action to assist in Puerto Rican relief efforts following Hurricane Maria and announced willingness to welcome evacuees from the U.S. territory, where millions are still without food, water and electricity.

Senators Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), who have both advocated for Illinois to welcome evacuees since the hurricane hit, said they are pleased Illinois is ready to help.

"I am so thankful that Illinois is stepping up to help Puerto Rico take on the massive project of rebuilding after Hurricane Maria," Martinez said. "The millions of people struggling without food, power and water in Puerto Rico are American citizens, and I am proud that our governor did the right thing in standing with them."

"As a Puerto Rican legislator who represents a large Puerto Rican constituency, it is heartening to know that our state is willing to open its doors to victims of natural disasters. Like many in my community, I have family members in Puerto Rico who are still without power and running water and have limited communication with the outside world," Aquino said.

"Since Hurricane Maria made landfall, I have been working with community groups to coordinate recovery efforts and I am glad that the governor has committed to helping our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. I know that the communities that I serve are ready to provide a helping hand to these displaced families."


In case you missed it


Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Bertino-Tarrant advocates for Illinois' small businesses (The Times Weekly)

Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: ‘Gun Trace Report' has recommendations for Illinois lawmakers (Chicago Sun-Times)

Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: Sen. Michael E. Hastings announces new technology resources for area children (Chicago Tribune)

Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Grant to help people with sight disabilities hear news (WAND)

Senator Kimberly Lightford, Maywood: Minimum wage bill sponsor says she'll keep pressing for deal (The State Journal-Register)

Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: An unexpected second chance (Chicago Tribune)


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