Batinick says watchdog’s resignation shows ‘glaring issues’ on state government accountability

The Republican again calls for ‘true reforms’ to address corruption

In the wake of the resignation of the state legislature’s top watchdog, State Rep. Mark Batinick took the opportunity to again call for ethics reform.

Carol Pope resigned her post as the legislative inspector general in a letter in which she detailed her frustrations about the unwillingness of lawmakers to enact adequate ethics reform.

Batinick, R-Plainfield, and other Republicans cited Pope’s letter in underscoring the problems that have plagued the state legislature, especially after some have been accused of wrongdoing.

“Legislative Inspector General Pope’s resignation letter speaks to the glaring issues that prevent this position from providing meaningful accountability in the General Assembly,” Batinick said in a statement. “Illinoisans have paid the high price of corruption for far too long.”

The Plainfield Republican has consistently blasted Democratic state lawmakers for not doing enough to address ethics reform.

This year, the General Assembly passed a bill giving the inspector general independent authority to launch investigations, but only upon the filing of a formal complaint.

Batinick and other Republicans have called for the bill to go further. The bill also makes changes to financial disclosure requirements and limits lawmakers’ ability to work as a lobbyist.

“This resignation is a call to legislate true reforms that will allow future Inspectors General to hold legislators accountable in our statehouse and end Illinois’ culture of corruption,” Batinick said in his statement.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.