The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Chapa LaVia resigned on Monday. This comes after numerous questions about the fatal outbreak of Covid-19 cases and deaths at the LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle that started on November 1st.
During a hearing on Monday, State Senator Sue Rezin and State Representative David Welter both called for LaVia to resign and nearly an hour later, she did just that.
Rezin said while she can respect the former-director’s decision to resign, she questions why the decision to leave the department was left in her hands. The Governor should have removed the director from leadership long before today.
Rezin also stated there are still several unanswered questions about procedures and decisions related to the handling of this outbreak. The Governor, IDPH and IDVA have the responsibility to provide those answers to the people of Illinois and the families that have suffered from their inaction.
Welter questioned LaVia, a former representative who was chairman of the veterans committee when the Legionnaire’s disease struck the Quincy Veterans Home.
Welter said LaVia was outraged that it took 3 days to get into Quincy to take care of the situation, but then as Director of the Department of Affairs, it took her 12 days to get “boots on the ground” in LaSalle.
Welter said Major General Peter Nezamis has been appointed to serve as acting director and encourages him to maintain an active dialogue with members of the Illinois General Assembly as he works to keep our veterans safe.
36 veterans have died at the facility from Covid-19 related complications.