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Quinn asks for cabinet member resignations

Friday, Nov 19, 2010

* Back on November 6th, Gov. Pat Quinn talked about asking for resignations from his cabinet members

Quinn: “…it would be my view that each cabinet director after the election, as we just had, would as a pro forma exercise submit their resignation. I may accept some, but that is a process that I think would be helpful. The cabinet directors serve at the pleasure of the governor, and the governor is re-elected, then they submit their resignations and I determine who stays and who doesn’t.”

Tribune: Are you calling on that to happen?
Quinn: “Well for directors, yes. Major leaders.”

Tribune: Even ones you have appointed?
Quinn: “Everybody. That’s really not an unusual exercise at the federal or the state level. That every director as a matter of course submits their resignation. The governor will decide which to accept, which not to accept. But I do think that’s the proper accountability for all directors. Because the governor appoints them and there should be an opportunity for review.”

Tribune: Have you gotten any resignations?
Quinn: “I think we’re going to have a cabinet meeting discussion with all the directors and that will come up.”

* I’ve confirmed that those resignation requests have now been issued. David Ormsby has a bit more

In addition to handing in their resignations, each agency director has been asked for a two-page summary of their department’s function and assessment of its productivity. This document will be due in approximately two weeks.

Agency reorganization and possible department mergers are on the horizon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

30 Comments
  1. - Piling on - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 3:45 pm:

    Just wait, some of the directors will refuse to resign and then Quinn will back off. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.


  2. - cassandra - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 3:48 pm:

    Great news. I hope it’s more than a public relations exercise. It would be useful for the public to see those two-page summaries accompanied by information on how long the individual has actually been in the job.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===some of the directors will refuse to resign===

    If their terms are expired, he can simply fire them. If their terms are not expired, they can be impeached.


  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 3:53 pm:

    We’ll just have to wait and see, Piling. You might be right, but at least this is a sign that Quinn is starting to act like a governor. This transition to a full term is important, and it’s a good time for a broad review of things. Props to Quinn for taking this seriously.


  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:03 pm:

    Great idea. Shake it up.


  6. - Amalia - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:08 pm:

    2 page report due in 2 weeks? wild.


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    Quinn’s entire political career has been built on PR stunts, so why should now be any different?

    Many of his staffers no doubt gave him up for dead in Sept. and Oct.,just like everyone else, and began sending resumes out. He probably got wind of who did and now pulls this everyone resign stunt. He’ll let go of those who were manuvering for other jobs.

    Kudo’s to Toni for doing a real hard job in announcing 21 percent reductions needed in county government. Imagine if Pat Quinn had her leadership style/cuhones in the first place. He would never have had an intra party primary challenge, let alone a general election race.

    I’m guessing that David Vaught’s resignation won’t be accepted. Or Jack Lavin’s for that matter(Blagojecvich holdover that he is)hmmm…


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:12 pm:

    Anonymous, Preckwinkle inherited a budget that was thoroughly feather-bedded and nobody even knew what was really in it. The state budget isn’t nearly that bad, and hasn’t been for a very long time.


  9. - DzNuts - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:12 pm:

    I thought Quinn was the Jobs Governor. Now he’s playing poker with people’s lives for now reason. What a ridiculous waste of time and waste of energy. If, after two years in office, the Governor doesn’t know the quality and performance of the agency directors, this state is more screwed up than I thought. Do you put an entire class in detention because one kid didn’t do his homework? This is a power trip that will fail miserably. Bottom line: man up, Governor and take the rest of the class out of detention.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:14 pm:

    Quinn’s entire political career has been based on PR stunts, so why should now be any different?

    Too bad he did not have the leadership style of Toni to announce significant and real (21 percent) cuts from jump. If he had Quinn would never have been challenged in the primary and would have breezed through the general.

    I am sure many of his staffers were sending out resumes at a fast pace in Sept & Oct. giving Quinn up for dead, just like everyone else. He’s probably got wind of some of them and will let them go.

    But, he’ll keep David Vaught and Jack Lavin of course(despite Lavin being a Blagojevich holdover).


  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===Now he’s playing poker with people’s lives for now reason.===

    Don’t be silly. Cabinet officers don’t have permanent jobs. They’re not civil service. And this happens quite often.

    Seriously, you’re being ridiculous. Your comment was so stupid that it was one sentence away from being deleted. I think I only left it up so I could tear it down.

    Take a breath, already.


  12. - Levois - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    Is this a good thing or bad thing? Why ask for the resignation of someone who may well be productive in the administration.


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===Is this a good thing or bad thing?===

    It’s fairly normal. Frankly, he should’ve done it when he was first sworn in.


  14. - Amalia - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:27 pm:

    let’s play guess the agency director…..DZNuts is…


  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:27 pm:

    –Why ask for the resignation of someone who may well be productive in the administration.–

    Flexibility. You can move the pieces around.


  16. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:27 pm:

    Obviously, Quinn felt that as the accidental Governor he had more of a caretaker authority and now as duly elected he can advance his agenda more aggressively. I think it was the right call then and now. It is time for a huge change over in State Government.


  17. - Quinn T. Sential - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    Does this mean that the under 30 director of the Illinois State Police has to say goodbye as well?


  18. - Idot Pro - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:30 pm:

    Fumigate the Blago holdovers!


  19. - Montrose - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:30 pm:

    *Is this a good thing or bad thing? Why ask for the resignation of someone who may well be productive in the administration.*

    My first response was that he is doing a forensic audit of his senior leadership, but I think that joke has played itself out.

    I do think, though, this is a useful exercise in determining if he has the right people in the right spots to get the job done over the next four years. For those he decides to keep on, he can say he made a conscious decision to do it.

    Also, given all the fumigation talk, this review is something he needs to do so he can make a solid argument for keeping anyone that is good, but would be swept up in the purging.


  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:30 pm:

    Bush did the same thing when he won reelection in 2004. It’s fairly standard practice with some resignation being accepted and others not.


  21. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===Why ask for the resignation of someone who may well be productive in the administration===

    The tradition is to ask for everyone’s resignation, then keep the ones you want. Plus, it’s more kind than simply firing them all at once. Bad for the resume.


  22. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rich is absolutely correct. It’s been rather pro-forma in past administrations, but handled by the Chief of Staff and not by the Governor himself (kind of unseemly for the boss to have to do it). Most people are re-appointed, but by having the resignation in hand frees the Governor to appoint those who better reflect his policies and priorities. Another point to be made here, is that generally, most cabinet level appointees’ expiration dates coincide with inauguration day or the beginning of a General Assembly…whichever is appropriate to the year. Really, no big deal here.


  23. - DzNuts - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:43 pm:

    Rich is right — it’s something that happens and my comment was over the top. It just seems so un-Quinn like that I had a rare moment of cognitive dissonance. And, no, I’m not an agency director, not on a government payroll, just a concerned former resident who wants to see state government operate somewhat effectively.


  24. - Ain't No Justice - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:47 pm:

    Most top staff know there is a chance to be let go when they take the job in most administrations. However, in Blago’s case he went after the file clerks and office assistants, and…er…republicans. I would love to see him shake up DHS, Aging, and DCFS. They are all social service agencies but they are all too top heavy and filled with blago holdovers. I will believe it when I see it.


  25. - Phil - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:48 pm:

    How about the ICC. Where staff members “work” from their house.


  26. - Nickname - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:51 pm:

    I feel sorry for Quinn’s Boards & Commissions staffer… he just pushed a bunch through the senate and now this AND the return of the Fumagation Bill… that guy/gal needs a raise! and some tums.


  27. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:51 pm:

    In 1972, Nixon won re-election in one of the biggest landslides of all time. The day after the election, he requested the resignation of all his cabinet members. Lot of bad post election-night hangovers.

    In 1979, Jimmy Carter did the same thing when he returned to the White House after going to the mountaintop and wandering in the wilderness of Camp David for eight days (I guess he couldn’t make it 40 days; the dude always took his initials too seriously).


  28. - steve schnorf - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    My memory is getting foggier, but I don’t remember this happening ever before. Most of the high appointees either serve exclusively at his pleasure, or serve terms that expire every other January (odd years) so their terms expire when a Governor is sworn in, and once in the middle of his term.


  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    Nickname, board and commission members aren’t cabinet members. And Cullerton’s bill wouldn’t apply to those board and commission members who were just confirmed because they were, um, just confirmed.


  30. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Nov 19, 10 @ 4:56 pm:

    A good move…perhaps by winning the election Quinn feels more “legitimate” now. Perhaps we’ll see a bolder Quinn…hopefully, we’ll see a more effective governor.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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