Shakeup possible at tollway

 
 
Updated 1/4/2019 7:07 PM
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  • Bills could be introduced next week hastening departures of some leaders at the Illinois tollway, headquartered in Downers Grove.

    Bills could be introduced next week hastening departures of some leaders at the Illinois tollway, headquartered in Downers Grove. Daily Herald file photo

State lawmakers could consider legislation in next week's lameduck session aimed at ending the terms of Illinois tollway directors in the wake of controversy at the agency.

The move could allow Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker to appoint replacements after he is sworn in Jan. 14.

Asked for reaction, a spokeswoman for Pritzker said bills could be introduced next week but did not elaborate on the content.

Five tollway directors have terms ending in May, and sources told the Daily Herald the bills could aim to terminate those appointments, as well as that of Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, immediately.

"The governor-elect is committed to increasing transparency and ensuring efficient delivery of services at the tollway administration. He is working with lawmakers to introduce good governance legislation to address a variety of concerns and looks forward to working with lawmakers to file bills next week," Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudeyyeh said.

An Illinois Senate hearing in July examined hiring and procurement at the tollway following reports by the Daily Herald of potential political favoritism.

Following the hearing, a tollway committee reviewed ethics policies and introduced a number of changes in November. Tollway officials have denied any favoritism.

"We said all along we believe the tollway is following the law, the tollway is a good organization, but as with any organization, we should be open to hearing from others," Schillerstrom said in November.

Each of the nine board directors was either appointed or reappointed by departing Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The board is required to have a mix of Republicans and Democrats.

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