A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:
SKILLICORN INTRODUCES BILL FOR DEDICATED PHONE LINE TO REPORT SEXUAL HARASSMENT MAINTAINED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
CRYSTAL LAKE, IL—As bills go to die in Rules Committee, so too apparently complaints went to an empty office for years never to be seen.
As a freshman legislator I am continually shocked by the unbelievable malfeasance in the operation of our government, from bloated budgets and a burgeoning backlog of bills, to the unchecked abuse of power without oversight.
The lack of a Legislative Inspector General (LIG) for years is further evidence of an out of control bureaucracy lead by a Democratic Majority that is incapable of recognizing any limit to its power.
Not only did the Ethics Commission neglect to appoint an acting LIG for years in accordance with 5 ILCS 430/25-10 (b)– “If the Office is vacant, or if a Legislative Inspector General resigns, the Commission shall designate an Acting Legislative Inspector General who shall serve until the vacancy is filled.” (Emphasis added)–according to the Daily Line, “A total of $1,875,000 million has been appropriated for an office which has not been occupied and to pay for a staff which doesn’t exist.”
While I am pleased that a Special LIG was appointed over the weekend, I would go further and call for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the current complaints.
And speaking of empty offices, where has the Attorney General been?
From the AG’s website, “The first female Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan has long advocated in state government for women’s safety.”
Apparently that doesn’t include the shenanigans at the Capitol just up the street.
Since the AG has not seen fit to do something tangible about this unacceptable behavior, I have introduced HB 4149 which creates a dedicated phone line maintained by the Attorney General through which persons may report instances of sexual harassment.
It is utterly absurd to have the Office of LIG which is supposed to “police” the General Assembly structured as a part-time position with little to no staff appointed with the approval of those same legislators.
Further, the Office of LIG must be invested with the power necessary to bring charges forward for prosecution without the approval of legislators.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, the most egregious, where power is abused by legislators to intimidate or coerce others, should result in a perp walk where those convicted follow in the footsteps of a few former Governors in “stamping out license plates” at the local prison.