Reversed and remanded.
The People seek review of an order of the circuit court of Sangamon County sustaining a motion to quash an indictment, by writ of error as provided in
The defendant in error, James J. Adduci, was indicted by the grand jury of Sangamon County, in an indictment returned in the circuit court thereof and which indictment contained four counts. Each count charged a violation of section 12 of "An Act to revise the law in relation to State contracts," approved June 22, 1915. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1951, chap. 127, par. 75.) The first count charged in substance that the defendant in error was a duly elected, qualified and acting member of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, and while so acting he did, on or about the sixth day of July, A.D. 1950, unlawfully and corruptly become interested in a certain contract, designated by the Superintendent of Printing of the State of Illinois as order No. 13047, dated July 6, 1950, for the printing and manufacture of envelopes by and between the State of Illinois and the Central Envelope and Lithograph Company, an Illinois corporation (and stating the kind and number of envelopes), for the sum of $8176, and that the defendant in error did corruptly and unlawfully receive from the said Central Envelope and Lithograph Company, for his interest, as aforesaid, in said contract, a large amount of money (a more particular description being unknown to the grand jurors), and that said unknown amount of money was paid to the defendant in error as a commission, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, etc. The second count was based on the same transaction but left out some of the details of the alleged contract. The third and fourth counts were based on an alleged contract between the State of Illinois and the same corporation, but dated October 21, 1949, and described as order No. 88293, and the wording
Originally, a motion to quash the indictment was filed which assigned fifteen grounds for the motion, and later, by amendment, two additional grounds were added. The eighth and ninth grounds were based on the charge that said section 12 was unconstitutional and void in that it is vague, indefinite and uncertain, and does not define and describe, so that the persons therein prohibited from participating in contracts of the State may know the meaning of the words "become, directly or indirectly, interested in any such contracts," and, further, because it cannot be determined with any reasonable degree of certainty what the legislature intended by this section. The other grounds in the motion to quash challenged the sufficiency of the counts for various reasons.
We will first consider the question as to the constitutionality of the above section 12. In doing this it is necessary that we keep in mind the fundamental rules of construction as laid down by this court from time to time. Among these are the following: A statute is presumed to be valid and all doubts or uncertainties arising either from the language of the constitution, or the act itself, must be resolved in favor of the validity of the act; and this court will assume to declare it void only in case of a clear conflict with the constitution. We have further held that it is the duty of this court to so construe acts of the legislature as to uphold their constitutionality and validity if it can reasonably be done, and, further, that if their construction is doubtful, the doubt will be resolved in favor of the validity of the law attacked. (People v. Newcom, 318 Ill. 188, and authorities there cited.) These rules of construction apply to penal as well as civil statutes. We have also held that where the intention of the legislature is clearly expressed by the language used, it is immaterial that the language is not strictly accurate. People v. Lloyd, 304 Ill. 23.
Clearly, the act of 1915 in question was passed for the very purpose of carrying out the above provision of the constitution, as it consists of seventy sections and all but a very few of them have to do with the State printing, stationery and binding. The act itself is entitled "An Act to revise the law in relation to State contracts" and, in construing section 12 thereof, it is necessary to consider the whole act, including its title. Said section 12 provides in full as follows: "No contract shall be let to any person holding any state office in this state or a seat in the General Assembly, or to any person employed in any of the offices
It is also contended that the words "become, directly or indirectly, interested in any such contract" are too vague and uncertain. In this connection it is to be noted that these very words are used in sections 15 and 25 of article IV of our State constitution. They were used in substantially the same form in the common law with reference to the duties of public officers and they have been used for many years in a great variety of public laws defining the duties and obligations of public officers. (See Jones Ill. Stat., chap. 126, sec. 221, as to State contracts generally; Jones Ill. Stat., chap. 21, sec. 1338, as to municipal officers; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1951, chap. 102, par. 3, public officers
For the foregoing reasons, it is our opinion that the objections to the constitutionality of said section 12 cannot be sustained.
As to the sufficiency of the indictment, it is claimed that the indictment is so vague and uncertain that it fails to advise the defendant of the charge made against him.
In the motion to quash the indictment, several grounds for so doing were based on certain alleged irregularities in convening the grand jury which returned the indictment in question. We have already disposed of virtually identical questions this day in People v. Gibbs, 413 Ill. 154, and, as these grounds have been waived by the defendant in error in his brief and argument, we will not further consider them.
In accordance with the foregoing views, the judgment of the trial court quashing the indictment herein is hereby reversed and this cause is remanded for such further proceedings as may be taken in accordance with the views herein expressed.
Reversed and remanded.