Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just Report It

As the Sun-Times reports this morning, the Chicago Crime Commission has created a statewide hotline for reporting government corruption. (Don’t let the name fool you – Chicagoans apparently care about corruption all over the state). The hotline is (888) EYEONGOV or (888) 393-6646. The Web site is www.888eye [The SJ-R is reporting it, too, but their story isn’t on-line].

The Commission promises to deliver complaints to the appropriate authorities for investigation and possible prosecution. They also say that they will accept anonymous complaints, even though the statewide Inspector Generals and the State Ethics Commission cannot accept anonymous complaints; perhaps the Commission will refer those directly to the appropriate U.S. Attorneys or local State’s Attorneys.

Corruption reporting seems to be a cottage industry these days. Perhaps now would be a good time to review your contact options when you see corruption:

* In August, Jim Burns, one of the Inspectors General at the Secretary of State’s office, announced a website to accept complaints about unethical activities in state government. Burns, a former US Attorney for Northern Illinois, can now accept complaints through the web.

* The Governor’s Inspector General, James Wright, also maintains a webpage, but their procedure is for complainants to download a form, fill it out and fax it back.

* The State Ethics Commission itself is also on-line. The Ethics Commission is the only place to get summaries of all five executive branch Inspector General quarterly reports, which to date are the only reports available to the public about the work of the Inspectors General. These can be downloaded here.

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