Former director of the Department of Child and Family Services Arthur Bishop is mentioned in our cover story this month. Our people section also notes his appointment to the position. When our March issue went to press, he still held the job. However, he resigned on February 26, shortly before the issue hit newsstands, after negative reports surfaced about his past.
Last month, the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago public radio station WBEZ reported that Bishop pleaded guilty to stealing from clients of a social services agency where he worked in the 1990s. They also reported that Bishop has a biological daughter who claims that he has not been a part of her life. “He’s supposed to be protecting the kids of the state — and you’ve got a kid out here you never done anything for,” Erica Bishop, who is 27 years old, told WBEZ in an interview that aired today. “He left me as a father, which I think that’s unfair to me and it’s unfair to my kids. ... As far as them wanting to keep giving him higher positions to look over people’s kids, I don’t agree.”
Gov. Pat Quinn tapped Bishop for the job earlier this year after the death of former DCFS Director Richard Calica. Bishop started working at DCFS in the 1990s. He most recently served as the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice before being chosen to head DCFS. Bishop had not yet gone through a Senate confirmation hearing.
In his resignation letter, Bishop wrote that he did not want to be a target for Quinn’s political rivals. “I am aware that we are in the midst of a contested election, and that my documented accomplishments, dedication, and almost 20 years of exemplary work are in this environment, simply irrelevant,” the letter said. “While your political rivals may be willing to attack me in an effort to obtain some modicum of political advantage, I cannot agree to be used as a distraction to the real issues that face the State and the children that remain in state custody.”
DCFS administrator Bobbie Gregg has been appointed for a 60-day stint as the interim director. Quinn announced that he would conduct a nationwide search to find Bishop’s permanent replacement.
by Kevin McDermott
Children die even when their tragic situations have been reported to DCFS.
by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
A retiring newsman takes a look back
State of the state
by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
U.S. law needs to keep pace with states on marijuana
Ends and Means
by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
Curtailing lame duck quacking is by no means a necessity
Staking a claim by Mike Ramsey
Competition intensifies — in Chicago and elsewhere — for a future Obama presidential library and museum.
Insurance marketplaces by Jamey Dunn
Illinois partners with the feds to run its exchange under Obamacare.
Read Illinois Issues’ award-winning blog, which provides up-to-date coverage from the State Capitol.
View Illinois Issues’ complete January 2014 print edition online
Available to nonsubscribers for a limited time only.