Local

After Althoff registers as lobbyist, bill filed to outlaw County Board lobbying

McSweeney says measure protects from possible conflicts of interest

Pamela Althoff
Pamela Althoff

Records filed with the Illinois Secretary of State show former State Sen. Pamela Althoff has a new title:

Lobbyist.

The McHenry native resigned as 32nd District senator at the end of September and plans to run in an uncontested race in November to take a McHenry County Board District 4 seat.

But State Rep. David McSweeney has filed a bill in Springfield that could make it illegal for sitting County Board members to work as lobbyists.

“It’s an absolute conflict of interest, especially when you’re in the position as a former elected official,” the Barrington Hills Republican said. “This shakes the confidence in good government. My bill was filed with the intention of stopping any type of situation which people are profiting from their past public service.”

Filed Oct. 9, the day after Althoff’s registration appeared in the state’s online records, House Bill 5968 would amend the Lobbyist Registration Act to prohibit anyone registered as a lobbyist, or his or her spouse, or any immediate family members living with the lobbyist from serving as a member of a county board.

It also would amend the Counties Code to make anyone registered as a lobbyist ineligible to hold office as a county board member, commissioner or executive.

The Northwest Herald reached out to Althoff to ask about McSweeney’s bill, but she declined to comment on the proposed legislation.

But Althoff said she plans to engage in “boutique” lobbying focused on public safety and pensions.

McSweeney would be concerned if Althoff lobbied in support of local governments – a move her registration paperwork suggests, he said.

Illinois’ Lobbying Entity Registration includes a section that reads: “The registrant intends to lobby the following subject matter.”

Althoff listed more than 70 entries, including: “Government – State or Local.”

She has not signed contracts with any clients. Althoff is required to report her business as a lobbyist to the Secretary of State.

“I’ll be monitoring closely,” McSweeney said.

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