GOP Senators: Gill Appointment Part Of Political Deal

Illinois Republicans are crying foul over the governor’s appointment of a state health official.

They say it’s a political deal meant to pave the way for a Democratic congressional candidate next year.

Dr. David Gill of Bloomington was appointed the assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health on May 3.

Last year, he mounted his fourth unsuccessful campaign for Congress, and was reportedly considering yet another run. Then came the appointment.

That same day, Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis resigned. Days later, she announced she was running for Congress in that district.

Republicans say they believe this isn’t a coincidence. Sen. Sam McCann, R-Carlinville, said while Gill could be qualified for the job …

McCANN: “How do you know if we don’t have an opportunity to ask?”

Gill’s position is subject to confirmation in the Senate. But he gets to remain in the job for 60 days when the legislature is in session before the vote has to happen.

With the General Assembly heading for its summer recess, it’s possible Gill would not be reviewed until next year.

A spokesman for the governor did not directly address the Republicans’ charges, but said Gill has a “strong background in public health” and “understands the challenges of the health care system.”

—Chris Slaby

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