Bipartisan legislation to protect citizens when local officials are charged with felonies sails through Senate

Legislation that would sideline local elected officials charged with work-related felonies while their cases are adjudicated received unanimous approval in the Senate on Friday. Senator Wilcox is a Chief-Co-Sponsor of Senate Bill 3460, and was proud to work with my nearby colleague Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) on its passage.

SB 3460 gives local governments the tools to protect citizens in cases when elected officials have been charged with crimes that put the public at risk. It creates a process to remove elected officials who are charged with a crime and placed on administrative leave until the courts can render a decision on their case. A State’s Attorney can appoint a special State’s Attorney if there is a Conflict of Interest.

Unfortunately, a late amendment to the bill limited the provisions to counties with a population of fewer than 500,000 residents. This excludes Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, and Kane Counties. Majority party Democrats that live predominantly in the above excluded counties insisted on the change. In my view, strong ethics should apply across the board and no county should be carved out.

SB 3460 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.