By: Diane Benjamin
You have probably heard that Bloomington’s Police Chief has been nominated by President Trump for US Marshal. He will be missed locally, but he won’t be leaving anytime soon.
The US Marshal job is a political appointment. That means he would serve at the pleasure of the President. The job is currently vacant probably because the last person with the job quit when the new president was sworn in. It’s customary for all political appointees to quit at that time.
Normally the senior US Senator of the same party as the President nominates someone for this position, Illinois doesn’t have one of those. That means the senior House member in the district gets to nominate. The district includes Peoria, Springfield, and Champaign because that is where the Federal Courts are located. Those areas are represented by Rodney Davis and Darrin Lahood. One or both had to ask Chief Heffner if he was interested. Heffner then had to complete an extensive job application.
The Chief won’t be leaving soon because first he has to pass a FBI background check. Unless he is somehow fast-tracked, those checks can take a year or more. After that, the Senate has to approve him for the job. Passage will depend on whether the Democrats feel like obstructing Trump appointments or not.
This is not a civil service job, but it does pay well. One source told me the salary is probably between $140,000 and $150,000 a year. It does come with federal benefits.
I hope a requirement for the next Police Chief is: Following the Constitution and the laws as written. Chief Heffner did whether Tari liked it or not.