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Commission & Leadership

​​​​The EEC is a nine-member commission. Five commissioners are appointed by the Governor, and one commissioner each is appointed from the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer. No more than five commissioners may be of the same political party. The Commission meets at least once each month to perform its statutory duties. These duties include:

  • conducting administrative hearings on alleged violations of the Ethics Act
  • preparing public information to facilitate compliance with ethic laws
  • providing guidance to Ethics Officers
  • receiving reports of activity from Executive Inspectors General
  • receiving reports of ex parte communications from Ethics Officers
  • overseeing the annual ethics training for all employees of the executive branch of State Government.

Commission

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Walter P. Turner, III
Treasurer's appointee from Flossmoor.

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Patty Schuh - Secretary
Attorney General's appointee from Springfield. Patty had a long and distinguished career in state government, including experience in both the legislative and executive branches. She served as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s Office, after more than three decades of experience working in the Illinois Senate.

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Amalia Rioja
Comptroller's appointee from River Forest.  Amalia has more than 25 years of professional experience in the law, government, philanthropy, business, and civic affairs.  Amalia is an attorney with Rioja LLC, where her practice focuses on corporate governance, government relations and public-private partnerships. She previously served as a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor's Office, Acting Public Access Counselor in the Attorney General's Office and Deputy General Counsel in the Comptroller's Office.  

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Maria Kuzas
Secretary of State appointee from Chicago.  Maria is a master's prepared nurse with clinical and leadership experience in home health, hospice care, community outreach and business development.  Maria is part of the care management team at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. 

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Allison Powers
Governor's appointee from Chicago. Allison N. Powers is an experienced litigator with expertise in discrimination and harassment claims in both the private and public sectors. More than a litigator, Allison is a strategic partner to her clients. As such, she devotes a significant portion of her practice to counseling clients facing a variety of workplace challenges. Having served on the #MeToo practice group and Diversity and Inclusion task forces, Allison has, in recent years, expanded her practice to include handling sensitive workplace investigations and projects related to developing diversity strategy. Amidst the current public interest in racial justice and equality issues, Allison has also been involved in diversity and inclusion “crisis” investigations.

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Teresa Bartels - Chair
Governor's appointee from Mundelein. Teresa is President of Gateway for Cancer Research, following a career in both the non-profit (United Way International, United Way of America and United Way of Lake County, IL) and business sectors (former Manpower franchises in northern IL and Northern MN.) Teresa has been active in numerous organizations concerned with secondary and higher education, early childhood intervention, sexual abuse prevention and treatment, and patient-centered cancer care.

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Patricia Yadgir
Governor's appointee from Woodridge. Patricia Bakalis Yadgir served on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, responsible for investigating charges of discrimination filed in the state of Illinois, for the last eight years.  Her career in the field of education expands over 30 years.  Ms. Yadgir holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from Northern Illinois University.  She had taught at the early childhood level and was a counselor/professor at College of DuPage for over 20 years. She has authored two books on ethics; one for primary-aged children and one for junior high/high school aged youth.  Currently Ms. Yadgir serves as Chief Administrative Officer for American Quality Schools, a not-for-profit educational management organization.

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Cynthia Ervin - Vice-Chair
Governor's appointee from Illiopolis. Cynthia Ervin is the Associate General Counsel for Corporate Services and M & A at Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers. Prior to joining ADM in 2006, Ervin served in a number of legal positions in Illinois State government, including as General Counsel for Illinois Department of Agriculture, Attorney to the chairman for the Illinois Pollution Control Board, Assistant Attorney General, and law clerk to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Benjamin K. Miller. 

Staff

  • Michelle Casey, Executive Director - Michelle Casey was appointed by the Executive Ethics Commission effective December 18, 2019 after serving as Interim Executive Director since October 18, 2019.  Michelle brings several years of consultancy experience from the private sector to State government.  Michelle also has several years of experience in State government, including as an attorney in the executive branch and the legislative branch and as a Senior Policy Advisor and State Purchasing Officer for Chief Procurement Office - General Services.  Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Organizational Management) from University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign, a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University School of Law, and a Master of Laws - Taxation from Northwestern University School of Law. Michelle.Casey@Illinois.gov 
  • Stephen Rotello, General Counsel - Stephen Rotello has had a long career in State government, including time as Deputy Director of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Senior Assistant Attorney General, and most recently as a State Purchasing Officer for Public Institutions of Higher Education. Stephen.Rotello@illinois.gov 
  • Rebecca Shuster, Human Resources Director - Rebecca adds 12+ years of State Human Resources experience to the Executive Ethics Commission Team.  Her past positions include Assistant Deputy Director for Strategic Processes for the Public Safety Shared Service Center, Human Resources Director of the Executive Ethics Commission, Organizational Analysis and Compensation Manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation, Human Resources Bureau Chief for the Department of Agriculture, and Compliance Officer with the Department of Central Management Services. She completed her Masters in Business Administration with Human Resources Certification at University of Illinois Springfield. Rebecca.Shuster@illinois.gov
  • Barbara Myers, Chief Counsel for Procurement - Barbara joined the Executive Ethics Commission in May of 2017 and has served as the EEC's Chief Counsel for Procurement since October 2020. Immediately prior to joining the EEC, Barbara worked for several years as a litigator in the Springfield office of a national law firm. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. Barbara.Myers@illinois.gov
  • Oliver Brooks, Chief Financial Officer -Oliver brings several decades of accounting and finance experience from the private sector to State government. He has offered key contributions to several organizations with success in budgeting, financial reporting, process improvements, and operational efficiencies. Oliver has earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Martin University, an MBA –Management and Strategy from WGU, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. Oliver.Brooks@illinois.gov
  • Derek Cima, Chief Information Officer - Derek has been with the EEC since September 2018. Before joining the EEC, Derek worked in IDOT’s Bureau of Information Processing. Since taking leadership of EEC IT, Derek has prioritized rapid response times, customer service, and a commitment to cybersecurity best practices. Derek is a native of Marion, Illinois and graduate of John A. Logan College and Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, where his focuses of study included cybersecurity and digital forensics. Derek.Cima@illinois.gov
  • Nathan Rice, Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Legal Counsel - Nate joined the Executive Ethics Commission in 2020 and became the Commission’s Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Legal Counsel in 2022. Prior to joining the Commission, Nate spent several years as an assistant city attorney. Nate provided legal representation and counsel to City officials and employees, including the police and fire departments, on a wide range of legal matters including labor and employment law and civil litigation.  Nate earned a Juris Doctor from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign and a Master of Arts with Distinction from DePaul University in Chicago. Nathan.Rice@illinois.gov

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