December 16, 2020

Council Passes Conflict of Interest Ordinance

Naperville City Council voted 5-4 in favor of an ordinance that will require council members to publicly disclose campaign donations of more than $750 when the donor is involved in a topic before council.

More Transparency

Councilwoman Theresa Sullivan, who said she has been working with staff on the ordinance for more than a year, said it will bring more transparency to the dais and allow the public to determine if they feel there is a conflict of interest.

“This clear, concise, and easily auditable rule provides a roadmap for council and our constituents to know what they can expect from us,” she said. “Council members will provide timely information on financially-relevant relationships that may exist between us, our campaign donors, and our votes on the dais.”

While campaign donation history can already be found online with the Illinois State Board of Elections, Sullivan said the new rule takes the onus off the public and onto council members.

Opposing Views

Those opposed to the ordinance included Councilman Paul Hinterlong, who said he thinks this is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist in Naperville.

“What are the problems we’re trying to solve?” he asked. “The problems we’re trying to solve are at the state and federal levels. They’re not here. Call them out. What are the problems?”

Others in opposition said the ordinance discourages local donations and will bring partisanship to the non-partisan council.

Links on Website

Along with council members publicly stating relevant donations, there will also be links on the city website to each council members’ campaign finance reports.

Council members are asked to recuse themselves when they feel they have a conflict of interest.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

 

You can look up campaign contributions for any elected public official with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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