CHICAGO -Democrats and Republicans alike heaped praise on retiring Illinois Auditor General William Holland for his office's independent analysis.
Holland, who had Democratic ties, announced on June 17 to lawmakers his plan to step down from the office at the end of the year after 23 years. "It has always been my intent to leave my position while I still enjoy the work. After nearly twenty-three years, I think that time has come," he said.
Lawmakers will now be tasked with finding a new auditor general. The appointee must receive a three-fifths vote of each chamber and serves a 10 year term. Although Holland's term won't have expired, the new appointee will receive a new term. His tenure spanned five governors, both Democrats and Republicans.
The office reviews state agency spending and accounting with its powers extending to any area that receives state public funds. The office also audits the state's annual financial report prepared by the state comptroller and annually releases the overall net fiscal position of the state. Lawmakers can request special audits.
During a news conference, Holland had advice for his successor.
"Respect the position of the auditor general and don't try to make yourself bigger than the position," he said, adding that the 10 year term allows the auditor to take the long view.
"Bill Holland has dedicated his life's work to improving public policy outcomes and government services for the people of the state of Illinois," said Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.
"Auditor General William Holland is a true statesman having served the people of Illinois as Auditor General for more than 20 years with the utmost integrity, honor and respect," Gov. Bruce Rauner said. "His appointment to a third term was unprecedented and well-deserved, and it underscores his professionalism and ability to do the job fairly and exceptionally well."
His retirement won't derail a sweeping probe of College of DuPage's operations, Holland said Wednesday.
Holland said he'll step down at the end of the year after about 22 years on the job, during which he served as a central figure in the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich. The former Democratic staff member who went on to win widespread respect from both parties as a fair watchdog over a sometimes-troubled state government.