State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) isn’t the only attorney-legislator whose law firm is cashing in on state government work.
The firm employing state Sen. James Clayborne Jr. (D-East St. Louis), Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, also performs a substantial amount of legal work for state agencies, according to records and interviews.
The firm is based in Chicago, and Clayborne works out of its Belleville office. Payments from the state have totaled nearly $5 million since.fiscal year 2004, according to the Illinois comptroller’s office, which tracks vendor payments from many state agencies.
With about 500 lawyers in two-dozen offices, Hinshaw & Culbertson has done work for the state appellate prosecutor, the Illinois treasurer and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) – Clayborne’s legislative leader.
Officials at those agencies said Clayborne, the Senate Majority Leader, had no involvement with their legal work.
Clayborne joined the law firm in 1990, and joined the General Assembly in 1995. He did not respond to numerous requests for comment, including one made during a visit to his Springfield legislative office.
A representative of his law firm asked the Better Government Association to submit questions in writing. The BGA complied but never heard back.
This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Patrick Rehkamp and Andrew Schroedter. They can be reached at (312) 821-9035 or firstname.lastname@example.org.