Sen. Brady: ‘No Conflict of Interest’ In Tax Subsidy Votes
By Jeff Bossert
Republican senator and gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady says a recent newspaper story alleging a possible ethics violation doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Chicago Tribune last week said Sen. Brady (R-Bloomington) voted last November for tax subsidies that helped his family’s real estate investment in the Ford County community of Gibson City.
According to the newspaper, a developer says the TIF, or Tax Increment Financing District, was an important part of his decision to plan an assisted living facility there.
Brady denies any breach of ethics, stating his mother, not him, owned the land at the time of the vote.
“She sold nine acres," he said. "Several months after that, the city of Gibson and all the taxing bodies and the developer came to Springfield and asked for a TIF extension to build a senior living facility. I’m in no way profited from this transaction, no conflict of interest, and when it came to voting, passed unanimously. I had no conflict of interest, nor will I benefit from this financially."
State law allows legislators to vote on issues that could benefit private interests, only asking they consider abstaining.
Brady also defends his actions during his 2010 run for governor.
The Tribune said in this case, Brady backed incentives that allowed Champaign officials to make infrastructure upgrades on farmland on the edge of town owned by the Brady family.
Brady said easements were ‘buried’ in the legislation, and says then-Mayor Jerry Schweighart came to his defense, saying there’s no way the senator would benefit from supporting it.
He is one of four candidates seeking the GOP nomination for governor.