File Photo – Illinois State Police | Photo: Max Weingardt

The Illinois State Police say they have rolled out a new online reporting system for residents to report suspected corruption so officials can “begin restoring the public’s trust in government.”

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) announced the initiative on Thursday.

“The Illinois State Police Special Investigations Unit is dedicated to seeking out those who abuse their position and power to take advantage of others, betraying the public’s trust,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said.

“By making it easier for the public to confidentially report suspected corruption, we can begin restoring the public’s trust in government. ISP will continue to work with its partners in law enforcement to investigate misconduct and corruption,” Kelly said.

The SIU created an online form where the public can provide confidential information about suspected corruption.

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The agency said examples of public corruption include an elected official steering contracts to friends in exchange for a monetary kickback, overbilling a contractor and embezzling the money, personally benefiting from federal or state-funded programs, wire fraud and money laundering.

State police say the online form will help the public, who may be unsure of what agency to report public corruption claims, in a streamlined process that allows authorities to begin investigating more quickly.

The SIU will triage the reports and determine the correct investigating agency.

Kelly established the Statewide SIU within the Division of Criminal Investigation in March 2020.

The SIU focuses on public corruption crimes and conducts investigations into criminal misconduct by elected officials and government appointees at the state, county, and local levels.

The unit handles allegations of intimidation by public officials, fraud as it relates to state and local government procurement contracts, election fraud, misuse of a public official position and acting as a source of influence to benefit from matters concerning the allocation of business enterprise, contracts, state-funded programs, kickbacks and bribery.

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Since its creation, the SIU has opened 82 cases, including dozens of joint cases with federal law enforcement agencies.

In one case, the unit investigated and charged a former township road commissioner who used a township credit card to make personal purchases totaling over $27,000.

The SIU investigated a former county coroner in another case where he used taxpayer funds to pay for his personal expenses and forged official documents.

Those who wish to file an online report can do so on the Illinois State Police website.