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Rauner hires new chief legal counsel

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017

* From the governor’s office last Thursday, August 24th…

General Counsel Dennis Murashko will leave the Administration at the end of August to pursue opportunities in the private sector. As part of the legal team’s succession planning, Kenton Skarin will assume the role of Acting General Counsel to the Governor. He currently is serving as the Governor’s Deputy General Counsel and is responsible for managing all aspects of legal operations within the Administration.

* From last Friday, August 25th…


* From late yesterday afternoon…

Lise T. Spacapan has been appointed General Counsel to the Governor to serve as Gov. Bruce Rauner’s top legal adviser. She had been serving the state as General Counsel for the Department of Children and Family Services. Her time at DCFS included a stint as Interim Director last June.

“Lise brings a wealth of legal experience and knowledge to the Governor’s Office,” Gov. Rauner said. “She will bring a fresh perspective to the Office, and she is dedicated to serving Illinois. I always have been committed to bringing top talent into the Office, and Lise fits the bill.”

Spacapan joined DCFS in 2015. Before that, she was a partner at three national law firms, including Kirkland and Ellis (1984-1997), Jenner & Block (1997-2013) and Husch Blackwell (2013-2015). She handled complex commercial litigation and product liability cases for Fortune 100 clients throughout the country. At DCFS, Spacapan managed a law department of nearly 100 employees across the state, and she served as a member of the Executive Staff, advising an agency of more than 2,500 people. In that role, she had regular interaction with the Governor’s Office.

* A text from a friend last night…

Um, so Rauner’s new general counsel was general counsel at DCFS when Sheldon was incentivizing caseworkers to clear their cases quickly with gift cards and making weird insider deals.

She was also interviewed by the OEIG on this topic. Click here and scroll down to page 14.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - Retired Educator - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    A new member of the “BTIA” with baggage. Yeah; this was well thought out.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    ===Um, so Rauner’s new general counsel was general counsel at DCFS when Sheldon was incentivizing caseworkers to clear their cases quickly with gift cards and making weird insider deals.===

    Must be a shortage of lawyers… the pool must be teeny-tiny…


  3. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    And about those “weird insider deals” of Sheldon’s…

    http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-08-22/jim-dey-former-dcfs-leaders-wounds-self-inflicted.html

    If there’s one thing Illinois government doesn’t need, it’s more hires like Igor Anderson.

    – MrJM


  4. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Rauner gets more and more like Trump everyday. Today, it’s hiring lawyers under investigation for their questionable ethical conduct.


  5. - Keyrock - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    When you had your last general counsel escorted out of the building, you haven’t really incentivized respected first-rate lawyer-types to join the applicant pool.


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    Something weird is going on here (shocking, I know). There has to have been something that occurred between Thursday and Friday. Was he in fact walked out Friday? Was he in the office this week? Are other attorneys leaving/being asked to leave? The timeline and hire are just odd.


  7. - Norseman - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Her stock must have been talked up at the last cocktail party. Looks like a good fit for the BTIA.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    ==hiring lawyers under investigation==

    To be fair, I’ve never seen anything stating she is under investigation. Being interviewed as part of someone else’s investigation doesn’t mean you’re implicated.


  9. - Moderate Condor - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    I don’t see anything significant about her in the OEIG report. Seems like she had an exceptionally bad client, which is good training for her new job.


  10. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Not that I support hiring someone who may be under ethical scrutiny but how many attorneys would be willing to take on a job that may be yanked out from under his or her feet in a matter of weeks?


  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Given the FUBAR of the last two months, I’m guessing it won’t be too easy to persuade anyone with a real private sector job (”idea factories” dont count) to join BTIA.

    Their difficulty in managing the proverbial one-car funeral isn’t an attractive incentive.


  12. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    This is the kind of internal shuffling that occurs for a key post when an administration nears its end because it can’t attract top talent from the outside.


  13. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    With that past experience at DCFS I bet she will be good at looking at warehouse leases and Cellini


  14. - The Captain - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Bruce Rauner is likely to be back in the private sector in 16 months, still very rich and will be grateful to the few who stuck with him through the end. For a forward thinking person this might be the best time to go work for him. And if he somehow manages to turn it all around or the Democrats royally screw this up (we’re good at that) then you’ve got a good job in a good situation.

    The hard part is surviving the next 16 months.


  15. - Langhorne - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Whats “baggage” to one, is true believer loyalty to another.

    Good point re recruiting. Are you more likely to want the job, for a possible short timer, bec you are on your way up, or on your way down?


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    Murascho does the ‘Rauner Perp Walk” out the door, and ‘Saucepan’ (oooh, that’s a rich and predictive) comes in the side door when she should have watched her predecessor hit the bricks unceremoniously. Kind of get a feel for her future.


  17. - I Roney - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    “She brings a fresh perspective…” did a head swivel on that one.


  18. - Former Merit Comp - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    I’d love to take a peek at the “succession plan”. Must be volumes and volumes


  19. - Annon3 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    It seems the same first or a couple are outside government and the rest come from again you pipeline. Not a whole lot to see here. She came from big law and probably is not test to go back and it gets her out of that agency. Meh


  20. - Annon3 - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    Meant agency pipeline ….


  21. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    Interesting. Unlike most of the others who have cycled in and out of the Guv’s legal team (and there have been a lot over the past 6-8 months), Lise actually has been a lawyer for over 7 years. I would go so far as to say she has experience. I leave it to others to comment on what that experience was.


  22. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Must be a revolving door there. Oh my.

    No wonder I have vertigo reading this.


  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==will be grateful to the few who stuck with him through the end. ==

    Now that’s funny. If Rauner’s shown us anything, it that “loyalty” is only a one way street with him.


  24. - walker - Thursday, Aug 31, 17 @ 1:56 pm:

    Going to wait and see on this one. Perhaps some government experience is better than none in a general counsel.

    No one who works in our DCFS comes out looking squeaky clean, given the horrendous challenges and underfunding there. I don’t generally hold that against people, unless named in charges..


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