SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether politicians swept up in corruption probes can use their campaign funds to pay for defense lawyers.
The State Board of Elections and an appeals court have both ruled there is nothing in state law prohibiting the practice. Arguments against allowing politicians using campaign money point to prohibitions against the personal use of campaign funds.
Michael Dorf, an attorney arguing the use of campaign funds should be allowed to pay defense attorneys, told the court innocent politicians could face expensive out-of-pocket costs for legal representation.
State Representative Dan Caulkins, (R) Decatur, would like to see the law changed.
“I don’t think lawmakers should be able to go out and solicit campaign funds and then turn around and use them to pay a defense attorney,” Caulkins told WAND News.
The Supreme Court has taken the case under advisement and will have a ruling later this year.
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