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SoS Inspector General Jim Burns has unexpectedly died

Friday, Dec 11, 2020

* Press release…

Statement from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White on the Unexpected Death of Inspector General Jim Burns

I am deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of my dear friend and coworker, Illinois Secretary of State Inspector General Jim Burns. Burns was a committed public servant who spent much of his life fighting against corruption and protecting the public trust.

This is why I sought out Jim Burns in April 2000 to serve as my inspector general. When I first became Secretary of State, I had inherited an office under a cloud of controversy and corruption. As a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Burns worked tirelessly in his role as inspector general to help restore integrity and eliminate all forms of institutionalized corruption and wrongdoing in the Secretary of State’s office.

Burns was a strong, visible and independent inspector general, and I am grateful for all he accomplished. Burns restored the public trust and changed the culture of the office. His legacy of honesty, fairness and transparency leaves an indelible mark on the Secretary of State’s office and the state of Illinois.

Jim was a former All-American basketball player, and I enjoyed talking with him about sports, politics and his love of history.

I send my sincere condolences to Jim’s family – including his wife, three children and grandson – along with his many friends. He will be truly missed.

A bio is here. May he rest in peace.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Pizza Man - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    Thank you Inspector Burns for your service to our State and for bringing transparency and instituting ethical standards to the SOS office.


  2. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    His family, friends and coworkers have my deepest sympathy.


  3. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:34 pm:

    I worked with Jim many times in the 80s and 90s. This is very sad and unexpected news. Condolences to his family.


  4. - M - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    How many years did Jim work for the SoS?


  5. - Pizza Man - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    M-Friday..

    since April, 2000..


  6. - Mama - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    May Jim Burns rest in peace and may peace be with his family and friends.


  7. - South of Sherman - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    A decent guy and a devoted public servant. Rest in peace.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    A good man, exemplary career, my condolences to his friends and family.


  9. - Eire17 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:47 pm:

    Great guy! RIP Jim. Sad news.


  10. - Socially DIstant watcher - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    Jim could have written his own ticket at any law firm he wanted and many of the USAs who served under him went on to make far bigger paychecks than he ever did. But he cared deeply about government service and worked tirelessly to restore and grow public trust in Illinois. We need more people like him, but they’re so hard to find.


  11. - Sue - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    Jim was a wonderful guy. I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. Condolences to his family


  12. - M - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    Oh ok. I thought Jim worked at SoS back in the 80s.
    Must be a different Jim.


  13. - Shytown - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:23 pm:

    Jim Burns was one of the good guys. What a loss. 2020 continues to suck.


  14. - Powdered Whig - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    This is quite a shock. Condolences to his family and friends.


  15. - Scott Cross for President - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Condolences to the Burns family on their extraordinary loss.

    And a loss to all Illinoisans.

    Jim Burns was 100% public service - an would have made a great Governor in 1998.


  16. - low level - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:35 pm:

    == Jim Burns was 100% public service - an would have made a great Governor in 1998.==

    Amen to that. May he Rest In Peace.


  17. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    I never met him, but I know many people who did, and everyone always had good things to say about him. Illinois needs more dedicated public servants like him.


  18. - Keyrock - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    Jim was a very nice man and a devoted public servant. Condolences to his family.


  19. - Amalia - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    Condolences to his family and friends and co workers. Never met him but observed him from afar in public and he was always assessed as nice and popular with folks.


  20. - Howard Tomb - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 3:49 pm:

    Jim was a Democrat but spent decades fighting corruption on both sides of the aisle. He was also a funny, optimistic and kind man devoted to his wife, children and grandson and his many friends. We will miss him greatly, and the people of Illinois have lost a genuine public servant.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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