Rockford, Illinois News

Michael Madigan successor who resigned after three days can take full month’s pay

CHICAGO — Former state Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt, D-Chicago, was sworn in Sunday after being hand-picked by former state Rep. Michael Madigan. He resigned Wednesday. He’s eligible for an entire months’ lawmaker pay.

Kodatt was nominated by Madigan Sunday to fill the seat the former Illinois House Speaker vacated last week. Tuesday, Madigan issued a statement saying Kodatt should step down.

“After learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as state representative for the 22nd District,” the statement said. “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”

Kodatt resigned Wednesday after just two days on the job. State law allows a legislator to claim a full month’s salary for just a day’s work.

“In the spirit of good governance, I ask Mr. Kodatt to decline the month’s salary he is entitled to under this arcane law,” Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in a statement.

Unless he declines, Kodatt would receive nearly $5,600 in taxpayer funds.

Mendoza said lawmakers should take up her proposal to prohibit “exit bonuses,” found in House Bill 3104.

“Taxpayers don’t get a month’s pay for one or two days’ work, and taxpayers should not have to fund that undeserved gift for elected officials,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “It’s time to throw the General Assembly’s ‘Exit Bonus’ on the trash heap of bad traditions.”

Former State Rep. Luis Arroyo, charged with bribery; the late former State Sen. Martin Sandoval, who pleaded guilty to federal bribery and tax charges; and former State Rep. Nick Sauer, charged with online sex crimes, all exploited the same loophole in state law, the comptroller’s office said.

Madigan, who has a weighted vote of 53 percent in who the replacement will be, announced he now supports Angelica Guerrero Cuellar.

The 22nd House District committee will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday.