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Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award

Created by the Executive Ethics Commission in 2006, The Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award is given each year to a State employee who has a demonstrated record of exemplary adherence to the principles of integrity, fairness and service to the People of the State of Illinois.

This year the award is presented to Daniel J. Kennelly, Director of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Office of Quality Compliance and Review. Over a period of nine years – years that have provided some trying ethical times of this State, Director Kennelly has endeavored to improve the ethical climate through education and enforcement, all the while striving personally and through his staff to model good ethical behavior

In addition to handling over 100 investigative cases per year, in cooperation with a variety of law enforcement agencies, Director Kennelly has been able to make education a priority. He is recognized for his creation of an annual Ethics in the Workplace seminar. This time-consuming and painstaking effort has grown from a small intra-agency seminar, with speakers drawn primarily from IDOT, to a large, statewide simulcast event, with national and international speakers. The most recent seminar, his third, was held on January 7, 2009. In developing this latest program, Director Kennelly coordinated the efforts of four agencies (IDOT, Revenue, Toll Highway Authority, and Central Management Services) to host a very successful inter-agency seminar. Held at the University of Illinois Chicago, the program was simulcast via the internet to 12 locations throughout the State, affording an educational opportunity on these vital issues to approximately 650 State employees.

Director Kennelly’s nominators, all colleagues, have this to say about him:

Whether he is working with the Chief Counsel or the Chief of Staff, a highway maintainer or a bridge inspector, an accountant, an auditor, or an engineer, people trust that they can ask Director Kennelly for his guidance and he will always give them his very best advice. And you can be assured his advice is based on sound ethical principles.

The Executive Ethics Commission commends and supports Director Kennelly’s work, believing that initiatives such as he has undertaken can and do make a profound difference in the ethical climate in this State.

Please join me in congratulating Daniel J. Kennelly, 2009 recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Ethics Award.