SPRINGFIELD—Auditor General William G. Holland won appointment to a third straight, decade-long term today, winning praise for standing up to the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The Senate’s 57-0 vote represented the final step necessary for Holland, 60, to be re-appointed to the job, which requires approval of both legislative chambers. The Illinois House previously approved him.
Sen. William Haine, an Alton Democrat and former state’s attorney, hailed Holland for delivering the “most powerful testimony” in the Senate’s Blagojevich trial, which concluded with a vote to throw him out of office.
While the FBI tapes of Blagojevich talking about dirty deals drew the heaviest attention, Holland’s ability to explain how Blagojevich had spent millions of dollars without authorization represented the “meat of the evidence.”
“His testimony was crucial,” Haine said.
The House impeached Blagojevich following his December 2008 arrest. The Senate then tossed Blagojevich from office. He was convicted in federal court of wide-ranging corruption and began a 14-year sentence in prison earlier this year.
Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, said the Legislative Audit Commission which he co-chairs received numerous letters of application from states like Texas and New York and countries as far flung as India and Saudi Arabia, but Holland was the “best qualified candidate.”
Lauzen noted that Holland was questioned how he renews himself and stays fresh on the job, explaining that Holland quickly responded he loves the job and his staff and that he added: “This is who I am.”