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Illinois' Labor Chief Steps Down

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – The Director of Illinois' Labor Department resigned Monday. Michael Fenger was in Governor Rod Blagojevich's cabinet just nine months.

The long-time Rockford labor leader's appointment in January drew much debate. He once pleaded guilty to slashing tires on a nonunion truck at a 1997 rally, but he later said he was innocent and looking to avoid a trial.

Esther Lopez will be acting director while the governor seeks a replacement.

Fenger will be a pension fund manager for Vestor Capital Corporation in Lake Forest, just north of Chicago. He earned $105,400 as labor director and says the job was rewarding but meant too much time away from his family.

The state's Labor Department oversees laws regarding wages and working conditions in the state.

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