Residents of the Southern District of Illinois can call a tip line to report public corruption.
Donald Boyce, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, and Brendan Kelly, state’s attorney for St. Clair County, recently announced the launch of the Southern Illinois Public Corruption Task Force Tip Line.
Kelly said the tip line is important.
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“Any opportunity we have to protect that trust and to rebuild people’s trust in government institutions and remove people that have violated that trust in our public institutions, we’re going to take advantage of that and do what we need to do,” Kelly said.
Residents of the 38 counties of the Southern District can call 618-589-7353 to report any leads regarding public corruption, such as bribery or fraud.
Once a tip is received, agents from the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigations and Illinois State Police will investigate and determine if allegations are state or federal.
“Our fellow citizens are the best sources of information in any type of crime — witnesses, information being able to have evidence that makes the crime prosecutable, not just speculation, but actual evidence is very important,” Kelly said.
Tips can be left anonymously, though Kelly emphasized the importance of providing credible leads.
“The most difficult part of prosecuting cases where people have violated the oaths where they have not upheld the public trust is folks that are not willing to testify, not willing to come forward,” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, since becoming the state’s attorney, the office has prosecuted four times more public corruption-related cases.
“Unfortunately, there’s a very long list of cases involving public corruption in the state of Illinois and St. Clair County and the Southern District of Illinois that have been prosecuted over decades,” Kelly said.
Kelly said tips have previously come through various methods, such as calls to his office or social media, but he hopes having a tip line will make it easy for the public and streamline the process.