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Thursday, September 16, 2021

State veterans affairs director resigns in aftermath of deadly COVID-19 outbreak

Chapa LaVia faced questioning at House committee Monday morning

By SARAH MANSUR
Capitol News Illinois
smansur@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia announced her resignation Monday following a contentious House committee hearing on the deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that has killed more than a quarter of the facility’s residents.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve our veterans,” LaVia said in a news release announcing her resignation. “I’m proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to assisting the interim director in any way possible as the department continues its work to serve our heroes.”  

Chapa LaVia’s resignation came after the House Civil Judiciary Committee questioned her role in the outbreak at the LaSalle home, where 36 residents have died of COVID-19 since Nov. 1.

Three members of the committee — Reps. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, David Welter, R-Morris, and Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove — issued statements calling for Chap LaVia’s resignation immediately following the committee hearing.

The lawmakers said Chapa LaVia’s performance during the hearing reflected poor leadership which caused them to lose confidence in her ability to lead the agency.

Maj. Gen. Peter Nezamis has been named the department’s interim director.

This story will be updated.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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