The Illinois General Assembly has finally chosen someone to investigate ethics complaints against state legislators and staff. The position had been vacant for nearly three years.
Julie Porter is a lawyer based in Evanston. She used to be federal prosecutor — working on the team that brought down Springfield powerbroker Bill Cellini.
Porter is taking up a substantial workload. Since the last legislative inspector general stepped down nearly three years ago, 27 cases have piled up.
This all came to light last week, when a citizen activist went public with charges of sexual harassment against state Sen. Ira Silverstein. The woman made a formal ethics complaint last year, but it’s gone nowhere.
With a newfound urgency, a group of eight lawmakers assigned to oversee ethics met by phone over the weekend and selected Porter for the job.