Realistically, suburban IG wouldn’t work
SouthtownStar editorial June 27, 2012 10:12PM
Updated: July 29, 2012 5:16PM
Former Chicago Ald. Dick Simpson, who heads the University of Illinois at Chicago’s political science department, this week announced the results of a study on public corruption in Chicago’s suburbs.
It really didn’t reveal anything new, serving more as a history lesson, but Simpson created the clichéd tempest in a teapot with his main recommendation — creating a suburban inspector general’s office to fight corruption.
It’s pompously preposterous in a way that bad ideas often are.
Because Chicago’s suburbs remain riddled with political corruption — 100 officials and 60 suburbs have been snagged in various dragnets over the past 20 years — it’s time, says Simpson, for a new crimebuster in the ’burbs.
Would this mean the region’s far-flung and varied towns, who often don’t get along in the first place, would all lay down their arms and agree to be routinely frisked? Uh, no.
How would it work? We think it wouldn’t. Who would be in charge? What would be the extent of its authority? Your guess is as good as ours.
Illinois has a legal apparatus — the attorney general’s office and county prosecutors — that could aggressively pursue suburban corruption but does not. Those running the offices must get elected and seek campaign cash, and they have friends in public office. They don’t want to alienate those who could help with all that.
One day soon, we’re sure, Attorney General Lisa Madigan will launch a full investigation into the powerful House speaker.
So the same political industry that created the seriously hindered inspector general’s office in Chicago will spawn a potent crimefighter in the boonies? That sound was us stifling a laugh.
To be blunt, there is no political will that supports such an office. In Illinois, the corrupt make their own rules.
Perhaps Simpson should work on a solution to that.