Taxpayers get a break: Kodatt declines nearly $6,000 in pay for just two days in Madigan’s old House seat

Comptroller Susana Mendoza had called on Kodatt to pass on the $5,788.66 he had coming to him under state law, even though he served less than a full week, introduced no bills, took no votes and attended no legislative sessions.

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Edward Guerra Kodatt speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side on Sunday.

Edward Guerra Kodatt speaks during a committee hearing on the Southwest Side to decide who will take over for Illinois’ former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan as state representative on Sunday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times file

Former state Rep. Edward Guerra Kodatt on Friday declined to take the nearly $6,000 in salary he was entitled to for only two days of work, the state comptroller’s office said.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza had called on Kodatt, who stepped down just three days after being appointed to succeed Mike Madigan in the Illinois House, to decline the $5,788.66 he had coming to him.

Even though Kodatt served less than a full week, introduced no bills, took no votes and attended no legislative sessions, he was entitled to a full month’s salary under state law.

But Kodatt sent an email to the comptroller’s office, taking a pass on the pay.

“In the spirit of good governance and in the best interest of the people of the state of Illinois I decline the one month salary to which I am entitled by law,” he wrote.

Kodatt, 26, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mendoza also called on Kodatt’s successor — newly appointed state Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar — to refuse the full month’s salary she’s entitled to under state law. Guerrero-Cuellar was appointed Thursday, with just two business days left in the month.

Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in Thursday to fill the Illinois House of Representatives seat held by former House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in Thursday to fill the Illinois House of Representatives seat held by former House Speaker Mike Madigan.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Mendoza noted that Madigan had already received his final paycheck for “representing the 22nd District for most of the month of February.

“Taxpayers should not have to pay three different representatives three full months’ salary for the same seat for the same month,” the comptroller said in a news release.

Guerrero-Cuellar didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the salary.

Controlling the majority of the weighted vote needed to make the appointment, Madigan initially tapped Kodatt on Sunday. But two days later, the former House speaker issued a statement with Ald. Marty Quinn (13th), urging Kodatt to step down.

“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.”

Former House Speaker Michael Madigan walks away from reporters after a committee hearing on the Southwest Side in February.

Former House Speaker Michael Madigan walks away from reporters after a committee hearing on the Southwest Side on Thursday.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

The statement did not provide details on those allegations.

On Thursday, Madigan and four other members of the Cook County Democratic Party picked Guerrero-Cuellar to succeed Kodatt.

The 13th Ward Democratic committeeperson declined to elaborate Thursday on Kodatt’s appointment or departure.

“The events developed as they developed,” Madigan said. “I’m anxious to move forward with Angie Guerrero-Cuellar.”

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