Nybo bill to increase transparency in State ethics investigations signed into law

Nybo bill to increase transparency in State ethics investigations signed into law

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.”

State Senator Chris Nybo, Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 24th District since 2014 after his predecessor, Kirk Dillard, resigned to take up a position as head of the RTA.

State Senator Chris Nybo, Republican member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 24th District since 2014 after his predecessor, Kirk Dillard, resigned to take up a position as head of the RTA.

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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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

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