In addition to being highly entertaining reading, the recent news stories about the spat between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his father-in-law, Chicago Alderman Richard Mell, include allegations of possible violations of the 2003 State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. How many have you spotted? Here’s what we’ve found so far:
• Selling Nominations to State Boards. At least two reports in the Chicago Sun Times include allegations by Mell that Team Blago has been selling nominations to state boards and commissions in exchange for campaign contributions. These allegations, if proven, could constitute
A) A prohibited offer or promise (Sec. 5-30)
B) The performance of prohibited political activities during compensated time (Sec. 5-15(a)) in the following ways:
(1) Soliciting contributions,
(2) Managing or working on a campaign, or
(3) Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting.
• Offering State Jobs in Exchange for Volunteering on a Political Campaign. A report in the State Journal Register suggests that applicants for state jobs may have been told to work on political campaigns in order to qualify for employment. Such an arrangement could, if proven, constitute a violation of the Ethics Act in the same ways cited above.