Given the well-publicized instances of corruption in Springfield and Chicago, residents of Northern Illinois may be excused for thinking that official misconduct is of little significance in this part of the state. A recent report on corruption issued by The University of Illinois at Chicago however, underscored the fact that the overwhelming majority of corruption cases in Illinois have occurred in the Northern District of Illinois of which DeKalb County forms a part. In light of this report, DeKalb County State’s Attorney Clay Campbell has announced a major initiative to educate public officials as to their responsibilities regarding conduct whiie in office and the public in general as to the effects and costs of corruption.
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Campbell will be launching the new initiative with an address on the topic of public corruption on Tuesday, March 6th at 7:00PM in the Five Seasons Room of the Community Outreach Building in DeKalb at 2500 North Anne Glidden Road. The address will cover such topics as the kinds of corrupt practices that are most prevalent in downstate Illinois, the specific responsibilities and obligations of public officials, Illinois law and statutes covering public corruption and the punishment that corrupt officials can expect if they are successfully prosecuted.
State’s Attorney Campbell will also be making a number of suggestions drawn from best practices by local governments as to the ways in which agencies can improve public access, reduce the opportunities for corrupt practices and get public input.
Corrupt practice by public officials is a problem in Northern illinois and like corruption in Chicago or Springfield, it constitutes a significant tax on the cost of doing business in the region. Any form of corruption however benign or “customary” undermines public confidence in government and drives worthy individuals away from public service.
It is time to curb even the appearance of improper behavior by public officials in Northern Illinois through a process of education, information and building public support for honest government. The DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office is taking the lead in this effort by appointing a Supervisor of Public integrity and establishing a special telephone number so that officials and members of the public can report instances of public corruption.
About the DeKalb County Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office: The State’s Attorney’s Office serves the 105,000 citizens of DeKalb County as chief law enforcement officer and legal advisor. Use #corruptIL to pose questions to the State’s Attorney Website.