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State Veterans Affairs Director Resigns In Aftermath Of Deadly COVID-19 Outbreak

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Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia announced her resignation following a contentious hearing of the House Civil Judiciary Committee on Monday.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia announced her resignation Monday following a contentious House committee hearing on the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that has killed more than a quarter of the facility’s residents.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve our veterans,” LaVia said in a news release announcing her resignation. “I’m proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to assisting the interim director in any way possible as the department continues its work to serve our heroes.”

Chapa LaVia’s resignation came after the House Civil Judiciary Committee questioned her role in the outbreak at the LaSalle home, where 36 residents have died of COVID-19 since Nov. 1.

Three members of the committee — Reps. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, David Welter, R-Morris, and Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove — issued statements calling for Chapa LaVia’s resignation immediately following the committee hearing.

The lawmakers said Chapa LaVia’s performance during the hearing reflected poor leadership which caused them to lose confidence in her ability to lead the agency.

Maj. Gen. Peter Nezamis has been named the department’s interim director.

This story will be updated.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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Capitol News Illinois

Capitol News Illinois

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit news service operated by the Illinois Press Foundation that provides coverage of state government to newspapers throughout Illinois. It is funded by donations from the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The mission of Capitol News Illinois is to provide credible and unbiased coverage of state government. Capitol News Illinois provides year-round, daily coverage of the Legislature, including committee hearings; state agencies and issues; state office holders; and the Illinois Supreme Court and legal matters.

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