New governor of Illinois calls for ethics overhaul
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Governor Pat Quinn moved quickly yesterday to put Rod Blagojevich's scandal-ridden tenure behind him, signing his first executive order and saying he wants to "fumigate state government."
Quinn's order officially put the Illinois Reform Commission under the office of the governor. He had created the commission when he was still lieutenant governor, after Blagojevich's arrest on federal corruption charges.
The 60-year-old Quinn became the chief executive Thursday when the state Senate voted, 59 to 0, to convict Blagojevich of abuse of power, automatically ousting him.
"We've had a body blow to our politics and government in the last seven weeks and two days, but that's over," Quinn said at a news conference. "Today is a beginning. . . . We're going to start to fumigate state government from top to bottom to make sure it has no corruption."
Quinn, a Democrat like his predecessor, pledged to work with lawmakers and other state officials as a team to get the job done. But the Illinois Republican Party said he stood by while Blagojevich committed the actions that led to his impeachment.