SPRINGFIELD/CHICAGO (Heartland Newsfeed) — Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman J. Blair Garber has resigned from his post after being bombarded with calls for his removal in the wake of comments he made on Twitter ridiculing East St. Louis as “the s**thole of the universe.”
According to Capital Fax, staffers from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office recently released a statement saying, “Mr. Garber has apologized for his comments and is resigning from the Illinois Lottery Control Board effective immediately.”
Garber, who also serves as Evanston Township GOP chief, was appointed to the board by Rauner and is seen as one of his political allies.
Among the public office holders calling for his ouster were Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who is running against Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary, state Sens. James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), and comptroller Susana A. Mendoza.
Ives blasted Gerber’s words as a “disgusting remark,” made only worse by his status as a person in a position of service to state taxpayers.
“Rauner will have to decide if his loyalties lie with people supporting him politically or the people he was selected to serve,” Ives added in a press release.
Rauner has also recently come under fire over the way the process in the state for selecting a new outside management firm for the lottery played out.
The Chicago Tribune has reported Nancy Kimme, a super-lobbyist with close ties to Rauner, apparently had undue influence in the process. Kimme’s link to Rauner goes back to her serving on his transition team.
Over Rauner’s time in office, the Tribune added Kimme has racked up at least $17 billion in state contracts partly based on their close ties.
Ives added in her press release that all the controversy has gone against the promise Rauner made to voters to cleanup state government.
“Rather than shaking up Springfield and turning around Illinois, Gov. Rauner has allowed Springfield insiders, who can barely contain their contempt for the state, to shake down Illinois families while he turned away from the fight,” she said.