Last month the Chicago Board of Ethics made headlines when it fined former Obama administration official David Plouffe $90,000 for failing to register as a lobbyist after communicating with city officials by email.
But the story did not end there. According to the Chicago Tribune, the city’s ethics board is now looking into potential lobbying registration violations by dozens of individuals and companies. As with the Plouffe matter, these potential violations trace back to messages sent to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personal email accounts, which were released in response to a pair of open records lawsuits.
These developments in Chicago serve as a potent reminder of the penalties and reputational risks from ignoring state and local lobbying registration laws.