SPRINGFIELD-One of Gov. Pat Quinn’s most trusted and influential advisers, chief of staff Jack Lavin, is stepping down for a job in the “private sector,” the governor’s office announced Friday.
Lavin, who held the post since 2010 and worked under Quinn in the early 1990s when the governor was state treasurer, will be replaced by the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Ryan Croke.
“I’ve known Jack since I was state treasurer, and I will always consider him a friend,” the governor said in a prepared statement announcing the job change. “He has done an excellent job building a brighter future for all the citizens of this state.”
Lavin, who made $168,337 from the state in 2012, is moving into the “private sector,” the governor’s office said without divulging the exact nature of Lavin’s plans. A source said he intends to set up a Chicago-based consulting business.
Before rejoining Quinn in the governor’s office as chief operating officer in 2009, Lavin served under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich as director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Before 2003, Lavin worked with now-imprisoned Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, helping expand Rezko’s Papa John’s and Panda Express franchises. Lavin was never implicated with any wrongdoing.
The governor’s office said Croke will be paid $130,000 annually in his new position.
A top Illinois labor leader praised Croke’s promotion.
“We have enjoyed working with Ryan Croke on a number of issues and have found him to be a talented and dedicated person who always respects Illinois’ working men and women,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to working together with Ryan in his new role as we continue to help create jobs and build the middle class.”