Monday, Oct. 25


Final appointments made to all-new Health Facilities Planning Board and to the new Executive Ethics Commission

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[OCT. 25, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- On Friday Gov. Rod Blagojevich made his final appointments to the Heath Facilities Planning Board and the Executive Ethics Commission.

After a careful selection process, the governor named Dr. Ron Winters, a recently retired family practitioner from Elgin, and Courtney Avery, an experienced public heath professional from Chicago, to fill the final two vacancies on the Health Facilities Planning Board.

"These two new members bring important experience to the Health Facilities Planning Board that complements the qualities and ability of the three other members," said Gov. Blagojevich. "Now, with a full roster, this board can continue along its new path -- to restore the confidence of health care providers and the public."

Dr. Winters, I-Elgin, recently retired from his family practice after serving the area for 40 years. Before settling in Elgin, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, Colo.

Courtney Avery, D-Chicago, is the program director of the Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, a mental health provider. Avery, a lifelong resident of the south side of Chicago, has worked in various sectors of government. She has experience in program management and development, advocacy, budgeting, and public policy.

In August, the governor signed legislation terminating the terms of the previous nine members of the board, allowing him to appoint new members to a leaner five-member board. The governor then tapped a former congressman, Glenn Poshard, D-Carbondale, to chair the board and named Pamela Woodward, D-Palos Park, and Susan Lopatka, R-Chicago, to the board.

The two new members the governor appointed to the Executive Ethics Commission on Friday are James Brennan, an experienced ethics and compliance consultant from Wheaton, and Lawrence Oliver, chief counsel of investigations at The Boeing Company from Chicago. Brennan and Oliver join seven existing members on the commission.

"I'm very proud of the caliber of individuals that we've appointed to this commission," said Gov. Blagojevich. "Mr. Brennan and Mr. Oliver bring even more integrity, maturity and experience to an already impressive panel."

James Brennan, R-Wheaton, is a published author, noted speaker and an editor on ethics and compliance topics. He is a 1994 graduate of Marquette University Law School. His professional experience includes managing the government compliance function at Motorola Inc., serving as a judicial clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and practicing commercial litigation at the law firm of Quarles & Brady.

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As the chief counsel of investigations at The Boeing Company, Lawrence Oliver, I-Chicago, manages the company's internal and external legal investigations. Prior to joining Boeing in September of 2004, Oliver was a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie in Chicago, where he concentrated on investigations and litigation. During his tenure at Perkins Coie, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Oliver to serve on the panel that investigated the city's building code enforcement in connection with the E2 Nightclub tragedy in February 2003.

The Executive Ethics Commission is a key component of sweeping ethics reform signed by the governor in late 2003. The historic reform package provides more definitive rules regarding what constitutes improper use of state time and resources, improves ethics training and reporting procedures, and establishes strong enforcement mechanisms to ensure ethics rules are followed. The nine-member commission reviews and determines appropriate action in cases brought forward by the executive inspectors general and represented by the attorney general.

The governor appoints five members to the commission, and the attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer and comptroller each appoint one member. Commission members cannot be state government employees.

Members of the Executive Ethics Commission:

  • Ellen Craig, appointed by the governor
  • Scott Turow, appointed by the governor
  • John Cusick, appointed by the governor
  • James Brennan, appointed by the governor
  • Lawrence Oliver, appointed by the governor
  • Shawn Denney, appointed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
  • Maria Kuzas, appointed by Secretary of State Jesse White
  • James Faught, appointed by Comptroller Dan Hynes
  • Frederick Hess, appointed by Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka

Members of the Executive Ethics Commission are paid $31,912, the same part-time salary rate as members of the Illinois State Board of Elections, and require confirmation by the Illinois Senate. Members of the Health Facilities Planning Board also require Senate confirmation. They are nonsalaried.

[News release from the governor's office]

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