Ethics investigations of speakers in Missouri, Illinois show need for possible reforms

(The Center Square) – As the ethics investigation of Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis, continues, there are parallels to the investigation of Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan, a Missouri political science professor says.

By a 6-2 vote on April 15, the bipartisan House Ethics Committee rejected a draft report on two separate allegations involving Plocher. The first was receiving $3,998 in reimbursements that were expenses paid for by his campaign, but Plocher repaid the amount before the complaint was filed. The second dealt with allegations of ethical misconduct surrounding a proposed contract for outsourcing constituent management services.

In Illinois, former Speaker Mike Madigan pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on 23 counts of racketeering, bribery and official misconduct in a federal indictment. He served as speaker from 1983 to 1995 and 1997 to 2021.

While there’s no comparison to the breadth of the alleged misconduct, the situation
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