Report: Illinois government ethics complaints hit new record in 2022
Illinois’ Executive Inspector General reported a record number of complaints, some alleging financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
Illinois’ Office of Executive Inspector General received a record-high 3,075 complaints – over 700 more than the prior year – covering employees who ultimately report to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, including allegations about misuse of public funds and conflicts of interest.
The fiscal year 2022 report detailed 291 revolving door determinations – a 55% increase in a year – in which a state department administrator accepted a private-sector job. Ethics laws prohibit certain state employees from immediately taking a job they impacted as an administrator.
Of the 291 state employees seeking non-public employment, four were prohibited from doing so unless they waited one year after leaving their government job.
The report also details wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. The Illinois Department of Human Services awarded $54,000 in payments meant for child care services to an individual who falsified documents about serving children from low-income families.
Other allegations included conflicts of interest between administrators’ professional and personal lives. One instance involved the then-Chief Information Officer for the Teachers’ Retirement System.
The former TRS executive oversaw contracting to a firm where he and a family member were listed as employees on corporate documents.
The inspector general’s budget grew 24% compared to the previous fiscal year, allowing it to expand staff and conduct 88 investigations.
Inspector General Susan Haling said her office is crucial to ensure taxpayer money is spent well.
“It is my strong belief that the OEIG’s oversight can help improve the quality of work in the State as well as root out waste and wrongdoing,” Haling wrote in the report.
The OEIG’s office monitors 170,000 employees in executive agencies, public universities and regional transit boards.