Illinois VA head quits in wake of COVD-19 outbreak at homes

Springfield, Ill. (AP) — The director of Illinois’ Veteran Affairs Department is leaving the post. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday the departure of Linda Chapa LaVia was a “mutual decision.” A former state representative, Chapa LaVia was appointed by Pritzker in 2019. Her resignation comes in the wake of deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 at state veterans’ homes, including the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, where 39 residents died of the coronavirus. The governor said he will name a permanent replacement for LaVia after a nationwide search. Until then, Major General Peter Nezamis of the Illinois Air National Guard will serve as interim director.