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Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award

Executive Ethics Commission Bestows New Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award on State Correction Guards

Despite Coworker Harassment, Guards Help End Staff Overtime Pay Abuse, Saving State over $1 Million Annually

(Springfield) -- The Illinois Executive Ethics Commission awarded its first annual Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award to Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) employees Lieutenant Anthony Robinson and Sergeant Edmund Baldwin at its ethics conference in Springfield on Tuesday, March 7.

At the conference luncheon, Scott Turow, Chair of the Executive Ethics Commission, presented Baldwin and Robinson with a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln for their successful—yet controversial effort—to eliminate guard overtime pay abuse by over $1 million annually.

“Lieutenant Robinson and Sergeant Baldwin saved the State a considerable sum of money and improved the ethical climate among their coworkers while taking considerable heat from their colleagues in the process,” said Turow.

Robinson and Baldwin, responsible for transporting inmates between Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet and the Cook County Criminal Court at 26th and California in Chicago, successfully implemented a new IDOC inmate transportation policy, despite coworker retaliation—curses, threats, racial epithets, and efforts to remove them from their jobs—by some guards angered by the pay loss.

According to Warden Dee Battaglia, some correctional officers routinely would delay returning from court in order to generate overtime and paid lunches. Robinson and Baldwin’s efforts ended the practice.

As a result, the corrections agency reduced overtime pay by over $1 million dollars per year, according to Jerry Buscher, Operations Security Director at IDOC.

“The Commission hopes Lieutenant Robinson and Sergeant Baldwin’s honesty and dedication in the face of adversity serves as an example to all employees of the State of Illinois,” Turow added.

In addition to bestowing the Lincoln award, the Executive Ethics Commission conference organized more than 100 State of Illinois ethics officers, general counsel and other state employees at the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois to provide staff training and discuss rules governing key ethics issues—the gift ban, revolving door, conflicts of interest and prohibited political activity.