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Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tapped another former legislator to be the director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.


Pritzker on Friday named Jerry Costello II as acting director, a job that pays $157,000 annually. The 51-year-old former state representative has been director of law enforcement for the Department of Natural Resources since leaving the General Assembly in May 2019.


Costello replaces former state Sen. John Sullivan, who resigned as director Jan. 13 after disclosing that he had received but failed to act on an explosive 2012 email that referenced an alleged rape cover-up and illegal hiring practices. Authorities are now investigating.


While Costello represented Smithton in the House from 2011 to 2019, he was chairman of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. He also served on Pritzker’s Agriculture Transition Committee after the Democrat’s victory in November 2018.


Costello is the son of former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, who represented the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis from 1988 to 2013.

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