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Cannabis Conflicts Among Targets of Proposed Ethics Panel

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A state representative is proposing a policymaking body that would aim at ending corrupt practices in the legislature that she contends range from campaign finance to the state’s emerging cannabis industry. Rep. Tony McCombie’s call for the creation a State Ethics Task Force follows in the wake of FBI raids on the home and offices of the Senate Transportation Committee chairman last month. In August, the US government indicted a senator and former union leader from DuPage County on 39 counts of embezzlement. Feds also are looking into a history of alleged malfeasance by Auditor General Frank Mautino.

The Republican from Savanna in Western Illinois cited a Chicago Democrat in lashing out against a culture of corruption that she said is pervasive in the capital. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office is looking into whether the paid seminars conducted by Sen. Patricia Van Pelt for would-be business owners seeking a piece of the pot trade contravened ethics codes. Recreational marijuana use becomes legal on January 1st and McCombie wants the House to take up her bill when legislators return to Springfield later this month.