The challenger in the race for attorney general says the office should do more to thwart political corruption. Republican Paul Schimpf says the office isn’t sufficiently involved in an area for which Illinois is notorious. “I believe that government corruption is the No. 1 threat that Illinois faces, and if I’m elected attorney general, that’s gonna be my No. 1 priority,” he said.
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Incumbent Lisa Madigan says it’s true, her office doesn’t see corruption fighting as its main job. “One of the reasons that we don’t is that there are other entities in state government that we’ve put in over the last 10 years that do those investigations on the front lines,” she said. Those are various agency inspectors whose job is to sniff out corruption. Madigan also says it is the U.S. attorneys who have made the best anti-corruption cases under federal law, and local state’s attorneys have the primary responsibility for prosecuting crime.
Madigan says her office gets involved when the state’s attorney needs help for a big or complex case, or when the state’s attorney has a conflict, such as the case of the former Rock Island County sheriff, who was convicted of attempted cyberstalking. He resigned from office, ended his re-election bid and gave up his pension.