Nybo bill to increase transparency in State ethics investigations signed into law
ELMHURST — As more sexual harassment allegations surface in the Statehouse, State Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) cosponsored an initiative to help eliminate bias in the handling of legislative ethics complaints and give victims the confidence to step forward. With overwhelming bipartisan support, the Governor signed it into law last week.
“Individuals who come forward to report sexual harassment and other ethics complaints should be able to trust that their complaints will be investigated fairly,” said Nybo. “House Bill 138 is a significant step the State is taking to ensure that we have an independent Inspector General ready to handle any complaints as they arise.”
Most notably, House Bill 138 calls for an independent search committee to recommend candidates for the position of Legislative Inspector General (LIG)—the office that handles ethics complaints reported by state employees or individuals affiliated with state government. The independent search committee would be composed of retired judges or former prosecutors.
Additionally, in light of the recent and unjustifiable two-year vacancy of the LIG role, the measure provides the option of hiring a full-time LIG, which until now has been a part-time position. Nybo believes a full-time LIG would offer greater accessibility and availability to quickly vet and act on all complaints filed within the office.
“Harassment in the workplace is a growing concern in Illinois, and in passing this ethics reform, we hope to make the complaint-filing process safer, transparent and more accessible—so victims of harassment feel more comfortable reporting it,” said Nybo.
The Governor signed House Bill 138 into law in Chicago on June 8 and takes effect immediately.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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