DOWNERS GROVE, IL – Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointment of James W. Wagner as the first-ever Illinois Tollway Inspector General. Last July, the Governor signed Senate Bill 3118 to create a new Office of the Illinois Tollway Inspector General to oversee operations and investigate ethics violations not covered in the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.
"The creation of this new office has set the standard for how all government agencies should approach internal oversight," said Governor Pat Quinn. "Jim Wagner is the right person for this important position and we‘re lucky to have him on board."
Mr. Wagner will investigate claims of wrongdoing or mismanagement in the day-to-day operations of the Illinois Tollway, including those involving fraud, waste, abuse and misconduct. He will also work to ensure that toll dollars are spent appropriately.
"Increasing transparency has been one of my top priorities since I started at the Tollway last April," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "The appointment of Jim Wagner is just another example of how serious we are about being 100 percent accountable to our customers and the public we serve."
Mr. Wagner will serve a five-year term and have jurisdiction over the agency‘s officers, employees, vendors and others doing business with the Tollway. Additionally, Wagner will have subpoena power and submit bi-annual reports to the Governor, General Assembly and Tollway Board of Directors.
Before joining the Tollway, Mr. Wagner served as President of the Chicago Crime Commission and Deputy Administrator of Investigations for the Illinois Gaming Board. Prior to those positions, Wagner worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for more than 30 years, serving as Special Agent and Supervisor and Program Coordinator for the Organized Crime Section.
Mr. Wagner has been serving as the Tollway‘s General Manager of Investigations and Audit since January 2010. He will continue to serve in that position until his appointment and the law creating the Office of the Illinois Tollway Inspector General become effective on January 1, 2011.
At Governor Quinn‘s direction, the Illinois Tollway has made strides to increase transparency and accountability, promote green and sustainable operations and contribute to the state‘s efforts to create jobs and foster economic growth in Northern Illinois.
"The Board of Directors is pleased to have such a strong leadership team in place at the Tollway. We are also grateful to Senators Garrett and Schoenberg and other legislators who supported the creation of this office," said Illinois Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff. "With Jim‘s able assistance, we will work to restore public confidence in the agency and meet the challenge Governor Quinn laid out for the Tollway—to be 'squeaky clean‘."
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).