Ethics Law everybody ignores

By:  Diane Benjamin

From Attorney Tyson Manker:

America is the greatest nation on Earth. Thanks to the Constitution and its enduring principles, We the People enjoy freedoms unknown in many parts of the world. However, right now in America there is a serious lack of honest leadership in Government at all levels.

Both nationally and locally, we live under a double standard of justice in which government officials play by a different set of rules than everyone else. Everyone knows it. Across the nation, unethical politicians and bureaucrats break the law without fear, because they know their political connections will protect them from prosecution.

Such fundamental unfairness in our political justice system has caused a greater distrust of Government and an increased apathy in its processes, both of which lead to further lawlessness. In more ways than one, a lack of leadership lies at the heart of all social problems.

I received a comment last week from a reader asking why the illegal activities I report are never prosecuted.  The above sums it up.  Government officials and employees cover for each other and prosecutors aren’t interested in prosecuting.

A law passed in 2003 required every unit of government in Illinois to pass an Ethics Ordinance and establish an independent ethics board.  Illinois Attorney General complied with the law and created a sample ordinance that just needs the names inserted:

No, Home Rule entities are NOT exempt!

Lisa Madigan issued this statement with the sample Ethics Ordinance:

The Illinois General Assembly recently enacted a comprehensive revision of State ethics laws intended to ensure that public officers and employees adhere to the highest ethical standards. Under the provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (enacted by Public Acts 93-615 and 93-617), all units of local government and school districts are required to adopt regulations governing political activities and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts of public officers and employees that are “no less restrictive” than those contained in that Act.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has prepared the Model Ethics Ordinance and the Guide to the Implementation of the Model Ethics Ordinance in order to help local governmental bodies comply with the requirements of the Act. The Model Ethics Ordinance covers the provisions of the Act required to be adopted by units of local government and school districts, and also provides an efficient mechanism for addressing and resolving ethics complaints. The Model Ethics Ordinance aims to provide guidance to local governments in implementing effective ethics regulations that will be consistent with their structure and needs.

Bloomington has never complied.

Normal has never complied.

McLean County has a link on their website to the Act, but they have never complied:

District 87 has never complied.

Unit 5 has the law on their website, but they have never complied:

Heartland has a Code of Ethics, but no Ethics Commission or Officer to handle violations:

The purpose of requiring an Ethics Ordinance was to establish procedures for citizens, government employees, or elected officials to independently report violations, have the allegations investigated,  and penalties assessed for violations.

Government in Illinois doesn’t want citizens holding them accountable, therefore they do not have Ethics Commissions or even an Ethics Officer to investigate government employees or elected malfeasance.

This sums up why corruption in Illinois is rampant.  Springfield can pass lots of great laws, but even they realize it’s window dressing.  Government doesn’t need to comply because nobody is prosecuting for not complying.  Laws are enforced on citizens, not government.

The law was passed in 2003.  In 2017 it still doesn’t matter.

9 thoughts on “Ethics Law everybody ignores

  1. The problem in Illinois begins with local government and continues up to Springfield. We cannot hope to get our state problems fixed if we don’t do something at the local level.

  2. Thank you for the information. I was not aware of the ethics board requirements. I am a member of a small board, 5 members. I shall see that we adhere.
    Does this rule apply to the state level as well. I noticed the OMA doesn’t apply to the legislative class of `people,`

  3. I’d love to be on the Ethics Commission in Bloomington if there is one formed. The main criteria are integrity and backbone with no political affiliation.

  4. I bet if we hired some consultants to STUDY this, we could get to the “root” of WHY Trump beat Hillary!
    And possibly what’s to come as a “trickle down” effect.

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