Governor of Illinois

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Governor of Illinois
Seal of Illinois.svg
Governor Pat Quinn.jpg
Incumbent
Pat Quinn

since January 29, 2009
Residence Illinois Executive Mansion
Term length Four years, no term limits
Inaugural holder Shadrach Bond
Formation October 2, 1818
Website illinois.gov/gov/

The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is one of 14 states with no gubernatorial term-limit. The current Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn, a Democrat who became governor upon the vote of the Illinois Senate to remove Rod Blagojevich from office,[1] and then was elected to a full term in 2010. [2]

Qualifications[edit]

The term of office of Governor of Illinois is four years, and there is no limit on the number of terms a governor may serve. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election. A single term ends four years later. A governor is required to be:

  • at least twenty-five years old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Illinois for three years prior to election

Residences and offices[edit]

The Governor of Illinois resides in the Illinois Executive Mansion at 410 East Jackson in Springfield. Its first occupant was Governor Joel Aldrich Matteson. He took residence at the mansion in 1855. It is one of three oldest governor's residences in continuous use in the United States.

The governor is also given the use of an official residence on the state fair grounds, also located in Springfield. Governors have traditionally used this residence part of the year.

However, some governors, such as Rod Blagojevich, have chosen to not use the governor's homes as their primary residence, instead commuting either by car or plane to Springfield from their home cities.[3] Many Chicago-based governors also have done much of their business out of the governor's office in Chicago's James R. Thompson Center, an office building owned by the state named for the governor who served through the 1980s.

Corruption[edit]

Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during or after their governorships; four were convicted, and of those, one (Blagojevich) was the first to be impeached and removed from office.

Acquitted[edit]

  • Len Small (R), governor from 1921 to 1929, was indicted in office for corruption. He was acquitted; there after, eight of the jurors received state jobs. Among his defense lawyers was former governor, Joseph W. Fifer, who asserted in pre-trial hearings, that the governorship has the divine right of kings.[4]
  • William G. Stratton (R), governor from 1953 to 1961, was acquitted of tax evasion in 1965.[5]

Convicted[edit]

  • Otto Kerner, Jr. (D), governor from 1961 to 1968; Stratton's successor and later a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was convicted of 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury, and income-tax charges from his time as governor,[6] and received three years in prison and a $50,000 fine in 1973. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson.[6]
  • Daniel Walker (D), governor from 1973 to 1977, was later involved in the savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook. He was sentenced to seven years in prison with five years of probation following his release.[7]
  • George Ryan (R), governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver's licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, and one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed six children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan.[8] Ryan was released in 2013.
  • Rod Blagojevich (D), governor from 2003 to 2009, and Ryan's successor, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in a unanimous vote in January 2009 after being tied to multiple "pay to play" schemes, including attempting to sell the former Senate seat of recently elected President Barack Obama.[1] In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges.[9] Blagojevich was retried on 20 counts from his 2010 trial and on June 27, 2011, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of fraud, acquitted on one count and the jury was hung on two. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Long, Ray; Pearson, Rick (2009-01-09). "House impeaches Blagojevich". Chicago Tribune (Chicago Breaking News Center). Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  2. ^ Davey, Monica (7 December 2011). "Blagojevich Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Illinois Governor Has Pricey Commute". CBS News. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Ridings, Jim (2010-06-10). "Len Small & Rod Blagojevich: A Study in Corruption". Chicago Daily Observer. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Other Illinois governors in legal trouble since 1901". Chicago Tribune. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The 70's, the Decade That Brought You Modern Life (for Better or Worse). New York: Basic Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-465-04195-7. 
  7. ^ Pensoneau, Taylor; Ellis, Bob (August–September 1993). "Remember Dan Walker, the last Democrat to be governor?". Illinois Issues (University of Illinois at Springfield) 19 (8–9): 45–47. ISSN 0738-9663. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Kass, John (24 February 2006). "Special witness poses a special threat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Coen, Jeff; Chase, John; Secter, Bob; St. Clair, Stacy; Mack, Kristen (2010-08-17). "Guilty on just 1 count, Blago taunts U.S. attorney". Chicago Tribune (Chicago Breaking News Center). Retrieved 2010-08-18. 

External links[edit]