Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quinn official's violations like 'jaywalking,' ethics advocate says

The director of a reform group who pushed the 2003 ethics law that Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff ran afoul of said Jerry Stermer’s resignation over three prohibited e-mails was “overkill.”

“In terms of whether this is a hanging offense, absolutely not,” said Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “People make mistakes. As far as I know, we’re still hiring human beings. This wasn’t a mistake I couldn’t see myself doing.

James Wright, the state’s former executive inspector general, sent Quinn an investigative report on the e-mails earlier this month and urged Attorney General Lisa Madigan to refer the case to the Executive Ethics Commission.

Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, said the incident shows that more transparency is needed regarding what inspectors general are doing.

Redfield's comments were featured in a August 26, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article