/Mike Madigan successor Edward Kodatt steps down three days after appointment

Mike Madigan successor Edward Kodatt steps down three days after appointment


Mike Madigan spent 50 years in the Illinois House, but the man he personally chose to succeed him served less than 72 hours.

Edward Guerra Kodatt offered his resignation from the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday just three days after he was sworn in.

Madigan, 78, who had enough of the required vote to single-handedly make the appointment, wasted no time throwing his support behind another candidate later Wednesday morning.

Kodatt, 26, is also out of his 13th Ward job, but he is entitled to a full month’s salary as a state representative — $5,788.66 — despite serving less than a full week, introducing no bills, taking no votes and attending no legislative sessions.

A spokesman for House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said Welch’s office received Kodatt’s resignation letter Wednesday morning.

Kodatt’s resignation comes on the heels of a Tuesday night statement from Madigan and Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) suggesting Kodatt step down because of “allegations of questionable conduct.”

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

Edward Guerra Kodatt walks with his significant other into a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over for Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan on Sunday.

Edward Guerra Kodatt walks with his significant other into a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over for Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan on Sunday.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The statement did not explain what the “questionable conduct” was.

Kodatt also lost his 13th Ward job as infrastructure manager to Quinn, Madigan’s handpicked alderman, a job he’d held since July 2017. Data from Chicago listed him as a staff assistant making $42,456 a year.

Though Kodatt won’t be eligible for a pension, under current law he is entitled to a full month’s salary , according to the state comptroller’s office. Comptroller Susana Mendoza called for him to decline the $5,788.66 payment.

Madigan was instrumental in engineering Kodatt’s appointment on Sunday, giving him 56% of the weighted vote needed to take the House seat Madigan held since 1971.

Madigan and the other four committeepeople tasked with picking a successor plan to meet Thursday to try again.

“After a fair and robust process on Sunday, we are prepared to proceed with selecting a replacement for the 22nd District Illinois House seat from the pool of candidates who already presented to the selection committee,” Madigan said in a statement. “I believe the most equitable way to proceed is to nominate the candidate who received the second-highest vote count. It is my intention to nominate Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar.”

Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar presenting her qualifications for former Rep. Michael Madigan’s House seat Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Guerrero-Cuellar was nominated by 23rd Ward committeeperson and Ald. Silvana Tabares for the position on Sunday. She is manager of operations at Envision Community Services.

Coalition for Change, which is comprised of progressive groups on the Southwest Side and other areas, said in a statement “Madigan’s ‘vetting’ of candidates at Sunday’s appointment hearing was a total sham.

“By asking no questions of Kodatt and requesting unanimous consent to his appointment, Madigan rubber-stamped Kodatt because this misconduct is the norm in Madigan’s Machine,” the statement reads in part.

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) looks on as Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) asks a question during a Southwest Side meeting Sunday to choose who will take over Madigan’s House seat.

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) looks on as Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) asks a question during a Southwest Side meeting Sunday to choose who will take over Madigan’s House seat.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

“Madigan’s “zero tolerance policy” is laughable, considering his own office is notorious for sexual harassment, backroom deals, and decades of intimidation tactics on opponents. CCIL3 demands good government at all levels,” the statement continues. “We will not sit idly as the Madigan organization presents a facade of transparency, refuses to ask candidates tough questions, and blindly appoints unqualified people to positions of power.”

The Democratic committeepersons are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in the ballroom of the Balzekas Museum, 6500 S. Pulaski Rd, the same building that houses Madigan’s ward offices.

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