tollway gate 121021CHICAGO – Concerned about the ethics and transparency of recent moves made by top leaders of the Illinois Tollway, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) called a hearing Tuesday to push for answers regarding the sudden change in the quasi-governmental agency’s chain of command.

“We must ensure that we are providing the most transparent process by effectively and efficiently operating the Tollway,” Murphy said. “This is significant to the consumers of the Tollway.”

The hearing comes just weeks after the Illinois Tollway board voted to restructure the Tollway’s executive staff. The move gave the part-time board chair – Will Evans – additional, direct oversight of some agency departments that had previously fallen under the Tollway’s executive director. 

In the days following the October vote – which was conducted in just over a minute – many board members began to question the magnitude of their vote.

During Tuesday’s Senate Transportation Subject Matter Hearing, Murphy asked Evans questions to get to the bottom of the lack of transparency in the change and push for responsible stewardship of tax dollars spent at the agency.

Following nearly two hours of questioning, Murphy was left disappointed in the lack of clarity the committee received for Evans.

“If the very people who work for the Tollway and voted for the change are confused, what signal is that sending to the millions of consumers of the Tollway and its taxpayers?” Murphy said. “The Illinois Tollway receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year – people deserve to know their money is being spent in an efficient and appropriate way. I expected more from Mr. Evans.”

Murphy will continue to work with her Senate colleagues to establish a plan that outlines clear lines of communication at the Tollway.