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NW Illinois News

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Rep. Chesney pushes for reform after 'disgusting' federal allegations of bribery, kickbacks


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 11, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport)

State Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) fumes that Illinois state government is screaming out for reform.

“Four weeks ago, I called on Sen. Marty Sandoval (D-Chicago) to resign from chairmanship of the Senate Transportation Committee after he became ensnared in a federal investigation,” Chesney said in a press release, adding that soon after that Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) scheduled a press conference to outline a proposal for an Ethics Reform Task Force. “Rep. McCombie could not even get through her bipartisan, bicameral press conference without news breaking of yet another federal investigation and a bribery indictment against state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago).”

In Chesney’s mind, it all speaks to the dire situation in Springfield.

Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago)

“To that end, I have co-sponsored several bipartisan bills aimed at starting that important work of restoring the public’s trust,” Chesney said. “One of the central issues in Arroyo’s alleged self-dealing involved his work as both a legislator and, simultaneously, a lobbyist. Most of us had no idea it was legal to serve as both at the same time.”

Chesney has now joined fellow GOP lawmaker Rep. Tom Demmer of Dixon in calling for a change to that system. House Bill 3915 would prohibit lawmakers from serving in dual roles.

Chesney also supports legislation proposed by Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) that would stiffen sentences for lawmakers convicted of committing crimes related to their official duties while in office.

Federal agents took Arroyo into custody late last month on formal bribery charges that allege he offered a $2,500 monthly payout to a sitting state senator in exchange for support on a gambling bill. He has since stepped down in the 3rd District. 

Prior to that, Sandoval was forced to relinquish his transportation committee chairmanship after he was accused of a kickback scheme.  

“Quite frankly, these cases are disgusting,” Chesney said. “Indeed, their alleged crimes jeopardize the very foundation of our most sacred government institutions.”

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Illinois State Representative Andrew S. Chesney

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