Rep. Keith Farnham, under fire after his home and district office were searched by federal Homeland Security investigators, submitted his resignation Wednesday from the Illinois House and said undisclosed ‘health issues’ are behind the move.
“I have been battling serious health issues for a number of years, and the coming months will require my full attention,” Farnham said in his first public comments since last week’s action by federal investigators. “The right thing to do for the people of the 43rd District is to make sure they have a dedicated, qualified and full-time advocate in our communities and in the State Capitol to represent their needs and concerns every day without distraction or interruption.”
Farnham appeared on the Tuesday Democratic primary ballot and was unopposed, but his statement indicated he intended to withdraw as a nominee for the Illinois House.
Last Friday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit executed search warrants at Farnham’s Elgin home and district office, but the agency has not indicated whether anything was taken. Farnham has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Prior to Wednesday, Farnham had not made any public statement about the federal investigation of which he is a part, referring questions to a criminal defense lawyer, Timothy Mahoney, who has declined comment. His Wednesday statement represented the first public report by Farnham that he is in ill health.
State Sen. Mike Noland (D-Elgin), Farnham’s state senator, told the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday that constituents in the Elgin area are “bewildered” by the turn of events involving the now-former House member.