Republican Cook County Board Commissioner Sean Morrison said he has a hard time understanding how anyone can justify what House Speaker Mike Madigan and longtime Chicago Alderman Ed Burke have done.
“The whole idea of a countywide elected official being able to file suit against the county strikes me as being an inherent conflict of interest,” Morrison told Chicago City Wire. of . “When you are a politician and have legal activity with that same government you represent, to me that is an inherent conflict.”
For years, Burke and Madigan continued to run their private property tax appeals law firm while serving in state and city government.
Burke recently stepped down from being a partner at Klafer & Burke, after the longest-serving alderman in Chicago history was slapped with a 14-count federal indictment charging him with corruption that includes allegations of steering business to his private firm.
“We could change things at the state level or county level,” Morrison said. “I know there been talk with previous board committees where the board would bar elected county officers from representing and suing the county. I believe that could be done by way of ordinance at the county level or state level.”
Morrison said he wonders how much steam such a plan could generate given the current climate of politics in Illinois.
“I believe there would be very little political will to enact such a plan,” he said. “You’ve always got Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx talking about civil justice and making justice equitable. I can’t think of anything that would be about making things more equitable.”