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  Simon willing to give up Gaming Board nomination
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Last EditedNone Entered  Apr 30, 2005 04:32am
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News DateThursday, April 28, 2005 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionSheila Simon, a reluctant pick to serve on the Illinois Gaming Board, says she would not object if Gov. Rod Blagojevich withdrew her nomination so she can focus on her work as a law professor, city councilwoman and mother.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Simon said she would be happy to serve if the Senate confirms her appointment but that's "looking pretty doubtful at this point."

State law bars Gaming Board members from holding other public offices. Blagojevich is asking the Legislature to change that law for Simon, who wants to keep her seat on the Carbondale City Council.

Lawmakers have been cool to the idea.

The House this month rejected a measure to let Simon serve on both boards. Senate President Emil Jones called Simon a "fine lady" but said he has no plans to change the law.

"If we do that for her, then we've got to do things for other folks," the Chicago Democrat said.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said Thursday the governor plans to try to persuade lawmakers to let Simon do both jobs.

But Simon, daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, isn't trying to sway them.

"Whatever they want to do is OK by me," she said. "It's not been on my list of things I need to do before I die that I really need to be on the gaming board."
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