A public call for revising
The Illinois Municipal Tort Immunity Statute
745 ILCS 10/
On a daily basis, the press and government watchdog agencies like Better Government Association, Reboot Illinois and Corruption Busters reports corruption, abuse of taxpayer dollars and breach of the public trust by elected officials, employees and patronage appointees serving on boards that determine policy and contract massive sums of taxpayer monies.
The latest Metra scandal illustrates how a small board can approve hush money in order to prevent a whistleblower complaint. Insult is added to injury by the egregious use of taxpayer monies to compensate politically connected outside legal firms to defend these actions.
We call for a revisit of the Illinois Municipal Tort Immunity Statute that provides indemnification of these public officials from personal liability and accountability for their poor judgment and waste of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, the statute must be revised to exclude acts related to exceeding authority, fraud, unfair hiring practices that provide an advantage to political influence, awarding of sole source contracts that result in overpayments and cronyism and the inability of taxpayers to obtain information about these acts routinely shielded by the veil of legal privilege or trade secrets.
Currently, taxpayers have no recourse to recover funds improperly awarded to these insiders who are in this not for the benefit of the public, but for personal gain.
Breaching the public trust should eliminate these officials from using public funds for their legal defense; rather, they should personally foot these bills and understand the ramifications of defending against judgments that could affect their personal property. This will serve as a deterrent to future looting of public monies and inappropriate spending.
At the present time, the only hope for relief is if there are criminal charges lodged against these perpetrators. Illinois taxpayers demand protection of their monies and deserve the ability to curtail abuse of authority by people who swear to uphold the best interests of the public.
We call upon the Illinois legislature to amend the Municipal Tort Immunity Statute and enable taxpayers to file civil lawsuits for recovery of these funds.
To view a list of Illinois legislators go to http://www.ilga.gov/