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Edited by Jennifer Davis

Gene Marlin is the Illinois State Police acting director following Terrance Gainer's decision to retire. Gainer has taken the second-in-command position with the Washington, D.C., Police Department. Marlin joined the state police in 1963. He became first deputy director in 1991, overseeing the agency's principal advisers and five deputy directors.

Richard Mathias is the new chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. He replaces Dan Miller, whose term had expired. Mathias, a retired attorney and insurance executive, served as director of the Department of Insurance for two years during former Gov. James R. Thompson's administration.

Norton Kay is now press secretary for U.S. Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Glenn Poshard. Kay, who was press secretary for former Gov. Dan Walker, also worked for the late-Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. He is joined by James L. Merriner, a longtime political reporter. "I've always been on the other side of the fence," said Merriner on his first day, referring to his years covering politics with the Chicago Sun-Times and The Associated Press.

Steve Culliton will become an associate judge in DuPage County Circuit Court. His first day on the bench is July 6. Culliton has been Jim Ryan's chief; of staff since Ryan took office in January 1995. Before that he spent more than 20 years in private practice. "The job I have now is very challenging, and I've been happy to be a part of Jim Ryan's team," says Culliton. "But I've also always aspired to be a judge, as I think many lawyers do."

"I plan to carry his bag out to the car and put it in for him, and then I'll be in the car right behind him."

Gene Marlin, the new acting state police chief, referring during a Statehouse news conference to his plans to retire when Gov. Jim Edgar leaves office in January.

They add up to a sweet deal lor one top state official

Who says you can't take it with you? Howard Peters III, secretary of the Department of Human Services, did.

According to The Associated Press, Peters stayed on the Department of Corrections' payroll for almost three years after quitting as prisons chief, so he could keep a pension perk reserved for those who hold risky state jobs.

"Only in October, after Peters had reached 25 years of service with the prisons system, did he drop off the agency's payroll," the wire service reported.

Peters was appointed secretary of human services in July 1997. He served as director of corrections from 1991 to 1995. In between, Peters served as a deputy chief of staff for Gov. Jim Edgar.

The "risky job" perk allows workers with 25 years of service to retire at age 50 with full benefits. That's a decade earlier than the average state worker. It also offers a small boost in pay.

While some lawmakers and prison employees were critical of the special arrangement, Gov. Edgar's office defended the decision, saying Peters still plays a key role in prison policy decisions. "From 1971 until 1995, he was on the front lines," Edgar press secretary Thomas Hardy told the AP. "To this day, he continues to get threats on occasion. Howard Peters is not very far removed from the Department of Corrections."

38 ¦ July/August 1998 Illinois Issues

Schools chief and the S-word
Sorry. State School Superintendent Joseph Spagnolo is saying it again. This time because of another S-word: sex.

The State Board of Education included explicit sexual references on health-related tests given to 11th-graders as part of an agency pilot program.

It's estimated as many as 2,500 students in 61 schools statewide took the tests, which asked questions about the AIDS virus and referred to anal and oral sex. Abstinence was not listed as an option for avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.

Spagnolo has apologized to school districts, saying, "Your students should not have been subjected to materials of this kind."

State board officials say the test slipped through standard scrutiny, something the board has been accused of in the past.

Last year, a state audit cited the board for issuing dozens of contracts without putting them out for bid and failing to monitor millions in federal funds.

Former lawmaker now on the bench
Former state Rep. Judy Koehler was appointed an Illinois Appellate Court judge. Ever since, the appointment has been at the center of controversy. Women's groups have criticized the Supreme Court's choice, saying Koehler's years as a lawyer for an anti-abortion group make her biased.

Koehler could not be reached for comment, but in a statement she thanked the high court for "its trust in me." She was nominated by Supreme Court Justice James Heiple.

Koehler was a state representative from 1981 to 1986. But she is often best remembered for her landslide loss in the 1986 U.S. Senate race to Democratic incumbent Alan Dixon. She was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in 1992.

Koehler will finish the two and a half years remaining of Michael McCuskey's Third District court term. She would then have to run for election to stay on the bench. McCuskey left to become a federal judge. The Third District court is based in Ottawa but covers 21 counties DeKalb south to Bloomington and across the state from Kankakee to Macomb and Rock Island.

ISU president set to step down
Illinois State University President David Strand will retire when his term expires. Strand, who became president in July 1995, has been with the Bloomington-Normal university for more than 20 years. He stressed he will "vigorously pursue" several initiatives during his final year, including the possible merger of the Mennonite College of Nursing with ISU. After his retirement, he will return to teach part-time. Board of Trustees Chairman William Sulaski says Strand "has presided over a period of historic change at Illinois State University, always committed to its true mission of teaching, research and service and always holding firmly to that sense of integrity." Strand's final day will be June 30, 1999.

Foundation president to retire
She warned them in advance when she took the job. She told them again recently. Adele Simmons will step down next year as chief executive of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. "When I accepted the presidency, I told the board and staff that I would stay just 10 years," Simmons wrote to board members. "I believe that periodic change in leadership is essential to the health of institutions, particularly foundations." Simmons will leave in September 1999. Since she became president, the foundation has made grants totaling about $1.3 billion. Board Chairman John Corbally commented that under Simmon's leadership, the foundation became "an active partner in efforts to reform public education, foster energy efficiency, help poor neighborhoods thrive and reduce growing social and economic inequality."

Bulls do it again!!!!
Despite being cast as underdogs early on, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Luc Longley, and Phil Jackson and the Chicago Bulls pulled out a sixth NBA championship June 14th. It's their second three-peat in eight years.

Illinois Issues July/August 1998 ¦ 39

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