* 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.