Illinois Selects Inspector General to Handle Ethics Complaints

Nov 6, 2017

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.