The President of Southern Illinois University has some harsh words for Governor Pat Quinn, whom he accuses of interfering in a power struggle involving a major Quinn campaign donor.
Audio of the story here:
Raw audio of SIU President Glenn Poshard on Quinn’s Alleged Interference here:
The struggle revolves around Roger Herrin, a Harrisburg doctor Quinn appointed to the SIU Board of Trustees last April. His fellow trustees quickly chose Herrin as their chair until last week, when they voted to replace him.
According to SIU President Glenn Poshard, that’s something Quinn’s office was working against.
Poshard says some of Quinn’s top aides called him personally, and other trustees, to pressure to either vote for Herrin as chair … or to resign.
“What was said to me was, ‘Okay Glen it’s this simple, you either get him re-elected, or come January the Governor will change the whole board, and you all will be out,’ ” Poshard said. “And I said, to that person that called me from the Governor’s staff, ‘fine. You will not intimidate me. I will not run away from you in fear.’ ”
Quinn’s spokeswoman says the governor’s office regularly calls trustees, at SIU and at other state universities, to promote Quinn’s education policies and to make sure the boards are productive and accountable.
She denies that the 21 thousand dollars Herrin donated to Quinn’s campaign funds has any role in the controversy.
Quinn’s not the only one who got campaign cash from Herrin.
Poshard did too, back in ’97 during his failed bid for governor.
There’s no love lost between the two now though … Poshard says Herrin is unqualified, while Herrin and another board member say it’s time for Poshard to go.
Herrin has also recently given money to other Democrats, including State Senator Gary Forby of Benton and Representatives John Bradley of Marion and Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg. Poshard is a popular figure in downstate Illinois, where election results show support for Quinn is weak.