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Illinois Medical District Commission

Gov. Pat Quinn, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Dump Illinois Medical District Commissioners


(Chicago, IL) – March 6, 2012. Launching a joint strike, Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today dumped five commissioners on the financially troubled Illinois Medical District Commission and replaced them with fresh appointees.

Quinn, who gets four appointments to the panel, tapped Jennifer Woodard, James Clewlow, Meredith O’Connor and Blake Sercye. Preckwinkle, who has one, picked Carmita Vaughan. Mayor Rahm Emanuel designates two. The mayor had no comment on Quinn and Preckwinkle’s action.

Established in 1941, Illinois Medical District Commission, which is on the verge of defaulting on a $40 million bond issue, is a seven-member appointed body charged with overseeing, coordinating and reviewing health care-related development projects within district, located on Chicago’s near west side.

The district generates $3.3 billion in economic activity and more than $100 million in state and local taxes.

“The commission, which has been a mess, needed a swift, hard boot in the behind and I’m glad Pat and Preckwinkle acted decisively,” said a Cook County lobbyist who asked to have his name withheld.

The new commissioners background:

  • Jennifer Woodard is associate vice chancellor in the Office of External Affairs at UIC.
  • James Clewlow has served as chief investment officer for CenterPoint since January of 2005, after serving as senior vice president of investments.
  • Meredith O’Connor is the managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Midwest Region. She spent more than 10 years as a deputy commissioner who founded a new science and technology unit in the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.
  • Blake P. Sercye is an associate in the litigation department at Jenner & Block and a former political operative for both Quinn and Emanuel.
  • Carmita Vaughan is the CEO of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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