Rep. Keicher Says Inspector General Independence Vital to Ethics Reform

Rep. Keicher consults with staff on the Floor of the Illinois House of Representatives.

This week, the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation to reappoint Michael P. McCuskey as Legislative Inspector General (LIG). Speaking during floor debate on the measure, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore), who is a chief co-sponsor of House Joint Resolution 35, called on the General Assembly to take the necessary action to give the Inspector General the needed authority to conduct ethics investigations unencumbered by the legislature.

“Judge McCuskey is a person of high caliber and honor, who is well qualified to continue serving as Legislative Inspector General,” said Keicher. “However, we sit here today, after the damning verdict of the ComEd Four trial, and yet we still deny his office the freedom and the ability to conduct independent investigations of the General Assembly. If we are going to stand before Illinois residents and claim we are conducting ourselves in an ethical way, then we need to allow ourselves to be freely under scrutiny.

“I urge the legislature to take up the issue of independence of the Legislative Inspector General before the end of this session, so that we can be held in higher esteem in the eyes of the folks we serve.”

In his remarks, Keicher highlighted the ability of the Legislative Ethics Commission, made up of General Assembly members, to stifle the work of the LIG. He also alluded to the fact that Judge McCuskey originally came up for appointment as LIG because of this broken process that led former LIG, Carol Pope, to resign in protest.

HJR 35 passed the House on a near unanimous vote and awaits approval in the Senate. For the video of Keicher’s remarks, click here.

Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties.