House quitter: Appointee resigns after just three days in legislative seat Madigan filled for half a century

Kodatt, 26, is entitled to a full month’s salary as a state representative — $5,788.66 — despite serving less than a full week, introducing no bills, taking no votes and attending no legislative sessions.

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Former House Speaker Mike Madigan listens Sunday as Edward Guerra Kodatt speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over as state representative.

Former House Speaker Mike Madigan listens Sunday as Edward Guerra Kodatt speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over as state representative.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file.

Mike Madigan spent 50 years in the Illinois House, but the man he personally chose to succeed him served less than 72 hours.

Yet, that former 13th Ward aldermanic employee is still entitled to a full month’s pay for his brief legislative tenure — or nearly $6,000.

Edward Guerra Kodatt offered his resignation from the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday just three days after he was sworn in.

He did not respond to requests for comment.

Madigan, 78, who had enough of the required vote to single-handedly make the appointment on Sunday, wasted no time throwing his support behind another candidate later Wednesday.

A spokesman for House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said Welch’s office received Kodatt’s resignation letter Wednesday morning.

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Kodatt’s departure comes on the heels of a Tuesday night statement from Madigan and Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) suggesting Kodatt step down because of “allegations of questionable conduct.”

“After learning of alleged questionable conduct by Mr. Kodatt, it was suggested that he resign as state representative for the 22nd District,” the statement reads. “We are committed to a zero tolerance policy in the workplace.”

Edward Guerra Kodatt walks with his significant other into a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over for Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan on Sunday.

Edward Guerra Kodatt walks with his significant other into a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over for Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan on Sunday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The statement did not explain what the “questionable conduct” was.

Though he served less than a week, Kodatt, 26, is entitled under state law to a full month’s salary as a state representative — $5,788.66 — despite introducing no bills, taking no votes and attending no legislative sessions.

That breaks down to $1,929.55 a day for his actual time on the job.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza called for Kodatt to decline the $5,788.66 payment.

Kodatt won’t be eligible for a pension.

He held a 13th Ward job as infrastructure manager to Quinn, Madigan’s handpicked alderman, a position he’d held since July 2017. City records listed him as a staff assistant making $42,456 a year.

Kodatt had resigned the aldermanic office job already and will not be rehired, a Madigan spokeswoman said.

Madigan was instrumental in engineering Kodatt’s appointment on Sunday, giving him 56% of the weighted vote needed to take the House seat Madigan held since 1971.

Madigan and the other four committeepeople tasked with picking a successor plan to meet Thursday to try again.

“After a fair and robust process on Sunday, we are prepared to proceed with selecting a replacement for the 22nd District Illinois House seat from the pool of candidates who already presentedto the selection committee,” Madigan said in a statement.

“I believe themost equitable way to proceed is to nominate the candidate who received the second-highest vote count. It is my intention to nominate Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar.”

Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar presenting her qualifications for former Rep. Michael Madigan’s House seat Sunday.

Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar presenting her qualifications for former Rep. Michael Madigan’s House seat Sunday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

On Sunday, Guerrero-Cuellar was nominated to fill the vacancy by 23rd Ward committeeperson and Ald. Silvana Tabares. The candidate is manager of operations at Envision Community Services.

Coalition for Change, which is comprised of progressive groups on the Southwest Side and other areas, said in a statement “Madigan’s ‘vetting’ of candidates at Sunday’s appointment hearing was a total sham.

“By asking no questions of Kodatt and requesting unanimous consent to his appointment, Madigan rubber-stamped Kodatt because this misconduct is the norm in Madigan’s Machine,” the statement reads.

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) looks on as Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) asks a question during a Southwest Side meeting Sunday to choose who will take over Madigan’s House seat.

Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th) looks on as Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd) asks a question during a Southwest Side meeting Sunday to choose who will take over Madigan’s House seat.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

“Madigan’s “zero tolerance policy” is laughable, considering his own office is notorious for sexual harassment, backroom deals, and decades of intimidation tactics on opponents. CCIL3 demands good government at all levels,” the statement continues. “We will not sit idly as the Madigan organization presents a facade of transparency, refuses to ask candidates tough questions, and blindly appoints unqualified people to positions of power.”

The coalition repeated its call for Madigan to recuse himself from the appointment process — a demand the former House speaker has declined.

Madigan, Tabares and the other three Democratic committeepersons with a say in the appointment are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in the ballroom of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski, the same building that houses Madigan’s ward offices.

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