Lawyer Julie Porter named to long vacant Special Legislative Inspector General post overseeing state legislator ethics
Evanston Lawyer Julie B. Porter, 45, will fill Illinois' Legislative Inspector General post, vacant for nearly three years.
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) announced her appointment Saturday, effective immediately.
Madigan and Cullerton had purposely left the spot empty since Dec. 31, 2014, when then-Acting Legislative Inspector General Bill Roberts left the position.
As a result, dozens of ethics complaints against state legislators, including one by lobbyist Denise Rotheimer, who claimed State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) sexually harassed her, have never been investigated.
Silverstein's district includes parts of Evanston, Niles, Skokie, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Park Ridge.
Former U.S. Attorney, Democrat
Porter has been a partner with Salvatore, Prescott and Porter, an "employment law, civil rights.. and white collar criminal defense" law firm with offices in Evanston and suburban Detroit, since 2016.
She previously spent 13 years (2003-2016) working in the office of the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Illinois and, before that, seven years at the Chicago law firm Kirkland and Ellis.
Porter told ABA Journal that she took a pay cut and left Kirkland and Ellis for government work because she "tired of defending private clients and wrangling over things such as document review."
“I kept asking myself, ‘What is this for? Don’t we want to get to the truth?’" she said.
She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997. Michigan Law classmate Jennifer Salvatore is Porter's current law partner.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Porter has voted in two primary elections since 2010-- both Democratic. She has not made any state or federal campaign contributions.
Porter's current husband, Andrew C. Porter, is also a former longtime federal prosecutor. He joined the Chicago law firm of Drinker Biddle in 2016.
Her first husband was former Kirkland associate David S. Ruder, II, whose father, David S. Ruder, is the former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (1987-89) as well as Dean of Northwestern Law School (1977-85).
Porter and Ruder divorced in 2005.