Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia is stepping down from her role.
According to a state of Illinois news release, Major Gen. Peter Nezamis, assistant adjutant general – air, Illinois National Guard, will serve as interim director and Gov. JB Pritzker will name a permanent director for the department following a nationwide search.
“I’m grateful to Linda for her service and wish her well on her next chapter,” Pritzker said in a news release. “I’m pleased to welcome (Nezamis) to his new role and am confident that with his decades of leadership and operations experience, he is the right person to lead this department forward and ensure our veterans receive the quality care they deserve.”
Chapa Lavia of Aurora said it has been an honor and a privilege to serve Illinois veterans.
“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,” she said.
Nezamis pledged to lead the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs forward in a way that is “transparent, equitable and fair.”
As the assistant adjutant general for air, Nezamis is responsible for the command, control and operations of plans and programs affecting more than 3,000 ILANG personnel located at Scott Air Force Base, Peoria and Springfield, as well as supervising a full-time force of over 900 state and federal employees.
Pritzker nominated Chapa LaVia to head the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affair in March 2019, and she was confirmed as director on Oct. 29, 2019.
She had come under fire in November, after a COVID-19 outbreak at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in LaSalle resulted in 27 deaths and infection of 104 of the 121 residents of the facility.
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release