CHICAGO – December 7, 2011. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today said the sentencing of former Governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges will not kill the state’s pay-to-play culture unless it prompts serious ethics reform.
"We cannot rely on a prison sentence to deter corruption,” Simon said. “Illinois needs stronger ethics laws to kill pay-to-play politics. It's time we expose conflicts of interest before they cost taxpayers, and clear the way for true public servants to rebuild trust with the public. Increased transparency, coupled with the threat of serious prison time, can end these shameful courtroom battles. Together we can put this chapter behind us, restore integrity to government and live up to our legacy as the Land of Lincoln.”
Simon is a former Jackson County prosecutor and served on the Illinois Reform Commission, which was created in 2009 in the wake of Blagojevich's arrest and helped pass the state's first campaign finance limits law. She will work with the General Assembly to pass legislation in 2012 to strengthen the state’s financial disclosure law.