Illinois Policy has an article on the Statements of Economic Interest that candidates, public officials and highly paid public employees must file.
I call them the “None, None. None” forms because that’s the answer most of those filing enter on them.
Now, newly-elected House Speaker Chris Welch has put a spotlight on their worthlessness.
Illinois Policy points to two bills to strengthen reports:
Two bills that would enhance financial disclosure requirement are House Bill 3751, sponsored by state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and Senate Bill 1597, sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago. These bills would require lawmakers to disclose the business associations, sources of income, securities and real estate assets, and debts and creditors for the filer and their immediate family members, providing exemptions for personal matters such as primary personal residences.
Welch is correct about the reports being pretty worthless, but there is at least one exception that Illinois Leaks has found.
Reported in an article entitled, “Feds Doing Job of Illinois State’s Attorneys – Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson Indicted by U.S. Attorney,” is the following excerpt from a Federal indictment:
“On June 28, 2018, KEVIN HUTCHINSON filed a false Statement of Economic Interest with the Monroe County Clerk stating that he did not have a personal financial interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract, work or business of the municipality”
“KEVIN HUTCHINSON, defendant, did willfully and knowingly make, and cause to be made, materially false statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States by falsely telling a Federal Bureau of lnvestigations Special Agent and a federal Task Force Officer that his only interest in MRCT’s contract with the City of Columbia was in his official capacity as the Mayor of the City of Columbia.
The Mayor is charged with getting “referral commissions” from the purchase of insurance by his municipality.
The article goes on to reference other public officials whose Statements of Economic Interest Illinois Leaks has investigated and found wanting.
Those from McHenry County follow:
- Melissa Victor, a sitting Algonquin Township Trustee filed a false and incomplete SEI document
- Former State Representative and Former McHenry County Chairman Jack Franks files false SEI documents
The article concludes:
While we could list numerous other public officials who filed false SEI documents, the point is the local authorities have failed miserably in enforcing our ethics law.
It’s no wonder Illinois was just named the third most corrupt state in the US.
A copy of Hutchinson’s indictment can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.