SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed a state lawmaker as director of the state’s Veterans Affairs department after his first choice stepped down.
The Democrat on Friday named state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia. The former Army officer was named in place of Army Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Takes The Witness Stand, Describes Alleged Attack As Real And Like 'Something Out Of Looney Tunes Adventures'
Pritzker tabbed Martinez for the job Jan. 31 . The governor’s office did not say why Martinez withdrew from consideration.
The 52-year-old Chapa LaVia joined the House of Representatives in 2003. She was the first Latina outside Chicago to be elected.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Coldest Temperatures In Nearly 10 Months Early Tuesday
Since 2009 she has been House Veterans Affairs Committee chairwoman. She was a vocal critic of former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration for the way it handled a deadly Legionnaire’s disease crisis at the Quincy veterans’ home.
LaVia’s appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.