Democrats handpick their ethics watchdog bypassing independent search process

Illinois Democrats rammed through their pick for the next LIG this week despite calls by Republicans to go through the citizen Search Committee process laid out in state statute.

Retired federal judge Michael P. McCuskey was appointed to the post, but bypassed the thorough vetting process that the independent Search Committee provides. McCuskey himself indicated that he should be going through the same process that the law sets forth and that all other candidates who applied for the position went through.

State Senator Rezin said that McCuskey has an impressive career as a jurist but noted that going around the law to appoint him gives the people of Illinois even more reason to not trust their state government.

The LIG position was left vacant after former LIG Carol Pope announced her retirement, citing frustration with the General Assembly’s inability to pass meaningful ethics reforms. Her retirement triggered the search process for her replacement, which under statute requires a citizen Search Committee appointed by the four legislative leaders to put forward a candidate recommendation to the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) for review.

The Search Committee chose to present two qualified candidates for consideration; however, Democrat members of the LEC were not satisfied with the recommendation and sought out their own candidates.

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