* From February 27th…
Gov. Pat Quinn is doing a national search for the next chief of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in the wake of the current director resigning after only a month on the job, the governor’s office said Thursday.
* Fast-forward to today. No more national search. Quinn has instead nominated his current interim director..
The interim director of the state’s Department of Children and Family Services, which has had four leaders in six months, on Tuesday received Gov. Pat Quinn’s nomination to continue heading the agency.
Bobbie M. Gregg, who has been the interim director since late February, must be confirmed by the state Senate. In the meantime, she’ll assume the title of acting director.
Quinn touted Gregg, a DCFS veteran who has also worked in county and federal government, as the right person to head the child welfare agency.
* From David Ormsby at the Illinois Observer…
Quinn’s choice of Gregg is likely to be, however, a disappointment to lawmakers who sought national talent and to those who witnessed her dismal performance at recent legislative budget hearings.
“We’ve had a rotating door, unfortunately, in the last several months in this department. So it’s been hard for any leadership to gain traction,” said State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) when Gregg’s interim appointment was announced in February. “I would encourage the governor to look within the state and outside the state for a director who brings some innovation along with the experience”.
At recent House and Senate budget hearings, Gregg’s performance was panned for her lack of grasp of basic agency financial and operational details, according to accounts. Gregg fumbled for answers regarding recent cuts to the agency’s budget despite being spoon-fed questions by lawmakers. Legislators – Democrats and Republicans – were privately stunned by Gregg’s lack of preparation.
Word is that the governor’s office did interview other potential talented candidates, but political uncertainty over Quinn’s hold on office beyond January 2015 doomed the other candidacies.