MORRIS – State Rep. John Anthony, R-Joliet, is resigning his office to take a job in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, confirmed in a news release that Anthony would go to IDOC, but did not say in what capacity.
Anthony said he expected to issue a statement Friday.
“The next chapter in John’s public career will be in the Illinois Department of Corrections. I know he will approach his new position with the same passion and determination he exhibited in the House of Representatives," Durkin stated in the news release.
The resignation is to be effective Friday morning, according to Capitol Fax, a Springfield-based daily political newsletter covering Illinois politics.
The online newsletter posted Thursday a letter dated June 16 that appears to be on Anthony's House of Representatives letterhead and states his intent to resign from office at 8:26 a.m. Friday.
"As a duly elected Representative of the Seventy Fifth (75th) Representative District for the 99th General Assembly, I am resigning my elected office, effective June 17, 2016 at 8:26 a.m.," the letter states.
The letter is addressed to Tim Mapes, clerk of the Illinois House. Also set to receive copies are Durkin, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Leslie Munger and Steve Sandvoss at the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Grundy County Republican Chairman Aren Hansen said there will likely be a Republican committee created with chairmen from Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle and Will counties to choose the replacement for Anthony's seat.
"We have to be fair to the public and will allow a period of time to take applications from those interested in the position," Hansen said.
Anthony was appointed to be the 75th District's representative in August 2013 when previous state Rep. Pam Roth, R-Morris, stepped down when she moved to Texas.
In November 2014, Anthony won the seat when he faced off against Democrat challenger Martha Shugart, D-Morris. Anthony was set to face Shugart again in the November general election.
Hansen said the person chosen by the committee will fill in the remainder of Anthony's term, as well as be caucused onto the ballot in Anthony's place to run in the fall.
"I can't say I'm glad to see John go. He was great to the district and he is leaving big shoes to fill," Hansen said.
Durkin, too, praised Anthony's work as a representative.
“When John was appointed in August of 2013 he immediately hit the ground running and was able to accomplish much in a very short time frame. A former law enforcement officer, John quickly became a go-to guy on issues related [to] criminal justice and corrections. His expertise and insight on these matters will be missed," Durkin stated in the news release.
Durkin stated Anthony’s biggest achievement was chief co-sponsorship and passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive heroin reform package. House Bill 1 includes provisions for a prescription return program, expanded use of drug courts, improved data collection and providing a drug that counteracts heroin overdoses to first responders.
“John Anthony worked collaboratively with Republicans and Democrats from both chambers to craft and pass meaningful legislation to combat the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse in Illinois,” Durkin stated in the news release. “His effort is saving lives.”