Lottery chairman's resignation the appropriate response, Rotheimer says
A careless remark by an Illinois state official is generating outrage not only in the Capitol, but around the state.
Blair Garber, whom Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed to the Illinois Lottery Control Board, resigned last month after disparaging remarks on social media about East St. Louis. Even more damaging, the words were apparently enshrined in a tweet.
Reports allege that Garber was responding to a tweet by musician Charlie Daniels criticizing U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) reaction to President Donald Trump's comments on nations like Haiti. Garber reportedly piled onto the musician's tweet, calling East St. Louis "the s***-hole of the universe" and thereby disparaging Durbin's hometown.
The remark eventually led to Garber's ouster.
"Mr. Garber has apologized for his comments and is resigning from the Illinois Lottery Control Board effective immediately," a Garber staffer said in a press statement Jan. 31.
Denise Rotheimer, a victims-rights activists who has helped write legislation in conjunction with state officials and who who filed an ethics complaint against state Sen Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), spoke this week to the Lake County Gazette about Garber's remarks.
"The use of profanity in (Garber's) comment shows a lack of professionalism rather an inability to articulate his thoughts and opinions with dignity," Rotheimer said.
Citing follow-up behavior by Garber and his office, Rotheimer said the eventual handling of the incident was somewhat redeeming, given his voluntary resignation.
"I think his apology and resignation are appropriate and shows that he has the character to accept responsibility," Rotheimer said.
In general, she said, there's a responsibility to ensure that lawmakers and other officials live up to the standards of their offices.
"The Illinois GOP continues to hold a higher standard for the behaviors of Republicans who act in an unprofessional manner by making them take responsibility for their actions," Rotheimer said. "This is another example of effective best practices."