SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) called for State Representative Luis Arroyo’s (D–Chicago) resignation after news broke of Arroyo’s arrest by federal authorities on bribery allegations. “It is disgraceful to have one, let alone so many, public corruption investigations encompassing every layer of Illinois government, and so many, legislative, judiciary, and executive. State government needs a thorough housecleaning from top to bottom.” Mazzochi identified the comprehensive ethics reforms in House Bill 361 as a start; as well as a bipartisan task force to be created under House Joint Resolution 87 in order to strengthen Illinois’ ethics laws.
Arroyo’s federal bribery charges directly relate to his duties as State Representative. “Illinois has been the poster child for public corruption for decades. Public trust in elected officials, on both sides of the aisles, has eroded. It is disgusting to see fellow legislators continually abuse their positions of power,” said Mazzochi. “Everyone in the legislature must stand in bipartisan opposition to criminal and abusive behavior. The federal indictment has more than enough information for the House to act by invoking House Rule 91 and start the process to remove Arroyo for his actions.”
Arroyo’s arrest is just the latest in a rash of stories involving Democrat elected officials recently arrested, raided, or investigated by the FBI for selfish criminal behavior at the expense of taxpayers. The list includes Democrat State Senators Martin Sandoval and Tom Cullerton as well as Democrat Chicago Aldermen Edward Burke (husband to Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke); and Danny Solis.
Asked about House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) calling for Arroyo’s resignation, Mazzochi called it “hardly remarkable. If Springfield teaches you anything, it is the lengths to which certain members will go to protect their own power. The problem is the culture set by leadership on down. To really make a difference, resignations should start at the top.”
Mazzochi emphasized, “Illinois needs to add teeth to our current ethics statutes. House Bill 361 needs to be released from the rules committee and given a fair hearing during veto. With the rash of recent news stories outlining criminal behavior, it is obvious that our current laws are not a deterrent. Both HB 361 and HJR 87 are a start.” HB 361 dramatically increases the fines for legislators that engage in numerus restricted activities and for violations of legislative rules of conduct. House Joint Resolution 87 creates the State Ethics Task Force to propose additional legislative solutions to ensure Illinois is holding public officials accountable for their actions.
HJR 87 has already earned bipartisan support and was assigned to the Executive Committee in the House of Representatives.