On Feb. 16, the Majority Party rammed Senate Joint Resolution 48 through the Senate, which would appoint retired federal judge Michael P. McCuskey as the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) even though he didn’t go through search committee process that is laid out in statute.
“The people of our state have lost faith in our government and moves like today sadly justify that lack of trust,” said State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro). “The process should and does matter. Today the Senate Democrats said that they do not care about that process and do not care about properly vetting the person meant to be the ethical watchdog of the General Assembly.”
In July of 2021, former LIG Carol Pope announced her retirement from her position after citing frustration with the General Assembly’s inability to pass meaningful ethics reforms. Her retirement triggered the search process for her replacement, which under statute require a citizen Search Committee appointed by the four legislative leaders to put forward a candidate recommendation to the LEC for review. The Search Committee chose to present two qualified candidates for consideration, however, some members of the LEC were not satisfied with the recommendation and sought out their own candidates.
“The Democrat members of the LEC completely and utterly ignored the findings of the Search Committee in order to push their own handpicked candidate. This move created a stalemate within our LEC that should have been avoided,” continued Sen. Bryant. “Now, Senate Democrats have chosen to completely sidestep our LEC and to install their own LIG who was not thoroughly vetted like all of the other applicants. The decision to appoint our next LIG in this manor completely undermines the entire process in the least transparent way possible.”
Senate Joint Resolution passed out of the Senate with a 37-17-1 vote and will now move to the House of Representatives.