The former head of the Illinois Department of Transportation's regional office in Collinsville violated ethics rules by soliciting pizzas for an office party from a contractor, according to a report by the state's top investigator.
Inspector General Ricardo Meza's investigation determined that Mary Lamie violated the gift ban in the state's ethics rules and recommended that she be disciplined. Lamie now works in the private sector.
Lamie, who worked for IDOT until at least March 2011, declined comment Monday. While at IDOT, she served as the engineer for District 8, which covers Madison, St. Clair and nine other counties in the area, as well as District 9, which covers 16 counties in Southern Illinois.
According to the inspector general's report, during an interview with investigators Lamie admitted that she instructed an underling to solicit pizzas from an IDOT consultant for an office party for District 9, based in Carbondale.
Lamie told the investigator that the District 8 office, based in Collinsville, often had similar parties.
The report states: "According to Ms. Lamie, expenses for these events are limited to $50, in order to comply with the Ethics Act."
But the Ethics Act states that "no officer, member, of state employee shall intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source."
The pizzas came from Mark Workman, an executive vice president at GeoTech, a road construction consulting firm with offices in Marion and four other Illinois cities.
The investigation found evidence of other instances where Workman gave gift cards, pizzas and tickets to St. Louis Cardinals baseball games for employees at the IDOT Carbondale office.
The investigation also found that a former congressman who worked out of the Carbondale office did "little work" in his role as IDOT's assistant secretary, the No. 2 position in the agency. Former U.S. Rep. David Phelps, a Democrat, held that position from 2003 to 2011, as an appointee of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Meza's report, released Monday, said Phelps could only say his work day included meeting with "lots of people."
The report indicated those meetings involved improper discussions with job candidates and interfering in hiring consultants.
Phelps retired in February 2011 -- about the time Meza's initial report recommended discharge.
Former IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig, when interviewed by investigators, said Phelps "believes that he controls IDOT Districts Eight and Nine."
A call made to Phelps' home was not answered. A written response from his lawyer noted Phelps was not disciplined.