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Another IL Hate Crimes Commission member steps down

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – A fifth member of the Illinois Hate Crimes Commission resigned Wednesday over a controversial appointment to the commission.

Alan Spellberg says he can't serve "in good conscious" on the panel because Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad has not denounced anti-Jewish comments made by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Muhammad serves as the Nation of Islam's chief of protocol. She says it's "ridiculous" that she's being condemned for remarks made by her boss.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rod Blagojevich - who appointed Muhammad - refused to answer any questions Wednesday about the commission.

"Look I'd love to make more news for you; we have no news for you," the governor said in Peoria on Wednesday. "There's nothing new to say; everything's been said."

Spellberg was an original member of the Hate Crimes Commission when it was formed in 1999. Four other panel members resigned last week rather than serve with Muhammad.

Spellberg says because Muhammad hasn't acknowledged the nature of Farrakhan's comments, the commission will be seen as sanctioning them.

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