The jury in the William Cellini political corruption trial brought back guilty verdicts on several counts yesterday. Cellini is the Springfield businessman and behind-the-scenes political power broker accused of attempted extortion. His trial is the last from the government’s Operation Board Games investigation, involving individuals serving on state boards and commissions demanding kickbacks for favorable rulings.
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Gov. Pat Quinn says since he took office, ethical conduct has been a higher priority. “My job is to clean up Illinois government. I think more than anything that’s my mission, and it’s important that we all stay committed to that important goal,” he said this morning before the Cellini verdict was known. Quinn says he is more ethical than his two immediate predecessors, both now convicted felons. He has had a few ethical scrapes that haven’t turned into scandals, the greatest of which is the allegation that he acquired votes from state lawmakers for an income tax increase in exchange for soft landings when they left the General Assembly.