SPRINGFIELD -- Acting Illinois State Police director Jonathon Monken could be out of a job after the Illinois Senate failed to confirm him before it adjourned last week. A Jan. 14 letter written by Eric Madiar, chief legal counsel to Senate President John Cullerton, says that Monken and 37 other unconfirmed appointees of Gov. Pat Quinn are no longer entitled to be paid a salary or other expenses by the state.
SPRINGFIELD -- Acting Illinois State Police director Jonathon Monken could be out of a job after the Illinois Senate failed to confirm him before it adjourned last week.
A Jan. 14 letter written to state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka by Eric Madiar, chief legal counsel to Senate President John Cullerton, said Monken and 37 other unconfirmed appointees of Gov. Pat Quinn are no longer entitled to be paid salaries or other expenses by the state.
As of Monday, however, Monken was still on the job, said Quinn spokeswoman Annie Thompson.
The letter, first reported by WUIS-FM/Illinois Public Radio, said the Senate had 60 legislative session days to act on Quinn’s appointments. Session days are when the Senate is in session.
“The Senate of the 96th General Assembly did not confirm any of the listed persons,” Madiar wrote. “In addition, fewer than 60 session days elapsed on these nominations before that Senate adjourned sine die in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011.
“As you are aware, when the Senate adjourned sine die that action terminated its session, and all unfinished business before the Senate expired, including all pending gubernatorial nominations. … With their nominations no longer valid, I am unaware of any legal authority permitting the formal nominees to continue to draw a salary or receive expense reimbursements …”
The governor could appoint Monken and the other nominees temporarily and they could continue to be paid, but only until the next day the Senate meets, which is Feb. 2, Madiar’s letter said. Quinn could also re-nominate Monken and the other appointees, and the Senate for the 97th General Assembly, which was sworn in Wednesday, could consider them. Asked whether the governor’s office agrees with Madiar’s legal analysis, Thompson did not dispute it.
The other nominees include two appointees to the Illinois Commerce Commission, including chairman Manny Flores; four members of the Historic Preservation Agency, including Springfield businessman Tony Leone; Springfield resident Kim Clarke Maisch, a member of the Workers Compensation Advisory Board; assistant corrections director Gladyse Taylor; and assistant human services secretary Matthew Hammoudeh.
Quinn appointed Monken in March 2009, when Monken was 29. Monken, an Iraq war veteran, was a controversial pick because he had no previous law enforcement experience.
The Senate Executive Appointments Committee never held a hearing on Monken’s appointment. A week ago, state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-Chicago, told Illinois Statehouse News that “we’re definitely going to be taking it (the appointment) up.” In November, Cullerton described Monken as being “on probation.”
The Senate confirmed dozens of other Quinn appointees in its November veto session and its lame-duck session earlier this month.
“There was opposition,” Cullerton said of Monken’s nomination in November. “We decided to see how he does. I think we’re going to have a hearing.”
Monken was in the spotlight in December after he gave a widely panned news conference about the apparent suicide of Springfield Mayor Timothy Davlin, who was well-known at the Statehouse. Monken declined to reveal details of Davlin’s shooting death, including whether Davlin had died of a gunshot wound or whether the ISP believed his death could have been a homicide.
Monken is currently in Hawaii as a part of a homeland security training exercise as a part of his annual National Guard service. Monken is a captain in the Illinois National Guard.
Quinn’s office won’t say whether the governor will reappoint Monken. Thompson said Quinn “is reviewing all agency directors and will finalize the top leadership for his new administration in the near future.”
A spokesman for Topinka could not be reached. A spokesman for Cullerton declined to comment on the letter.
Chris Wetterich can be reached at (217) 788-1523.