U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos is withdrawing from a statewide panel studying sexual harassment and discrimination to allow it to be more independent.
The Democrat from Moline said Wednesday election law and ethics rules prevent her from serving with the group if it becomes an independent legal entity.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan formed the State Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel in February. He appointed Bustos, state Comptroller Susana Mendoza and state Rep. Carol Ammons.
The members want to operate independent of the Democratic Party and determined the best way to operate was to form a legal entity. That precludes Bustos as a federal officeholder.
The congresswoman submitted her resignation in a letter to Madigan, who is also state Democratic Party chairman.