Illinois Inspector Misconduct Act

Public Act 92-853

The best way to make government stand upright is to lean on it every day.

Nicholas Johnson

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On August 28, 2002, Gov. George Ryan signed the Illinois Inspector Misconduct Act (Public Act 92-853) which banned the long-time practice of state employees soliciting campaign contributions from individuals or businesses they regulate or inspect.

In 1994, then-State Treasurer Pat Quinn unveiled the first State Inspector Misconduct Act. It would impose a Class A misdemeanor and loss of job for soliciting campaign contributions from anyone engaged in a business which the state employee regulates or inspects, and create a toll-free hotline for whistleblowers.

Campaign contribution solicitations by state inspectors and regulators were especially pervasive in the Illinois Secretary of State’s office which oversaw regulation of commercial drivers licenses, auto repair shops, and auto dealerships.

On November 8, 1994, a fiery crash near Milwaukee which killed six children was caused by a trucker who had gotten his commercial driver’s license improperly from the Secretary of State’s office. The horrific accident and subsequent cover-up led to the federal Operation Safe Roads probe of the license-for-bribes scandal.

For seven years, the General Assembly considered -- and rejected -- versions of Quinn’s Inspector Misconduct reforms sponsored by Rep. John Fritchey every session.

Finally, in 2002, the General Assembly approved the Illinois Inspector Misconduct Act, sponsored by Rep. Fritchey.