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Brendan Kelly resigns as state’s attorney after nomination to run Illinois State Police

File video: Brendan Kelly nominated to lead Illinois State Police

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is being nominated by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to be director of the Illinois State Police. If confirmed he will oversee an agency of 2,700 people. He has been state's attorney since 2010.
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St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly is being nominated by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to be director of the Illinois State Police. If confirmed he will oversee an agency of 2,700 people. He has been state's attorney since 2010.

Brendan Kelly has officially left the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Kelly, who has been nominated to lead the Illinois State Police, confirmed he has resigned his state’s attorney position. He can’t hold the two positions at once, he said.

Kelly still needs to be confirmed by the state Senate.

For now Steve Sallerson, who is the first assistant in state’s attorney’s office, is in charge until an official appointment is made.

“We have a very smoothly run office,” Sallerson said. “We get things done efficiently.”

It remains unclear who will replace Kelly.

Kelly was re-elected as state’s attorney in November 2016. With less than two years left on Kelly’s term, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern will have to appoint someone to serve out the unfinished term. The appointment will need to be approved by the county board.

The county board is scheduled to meet on Monday.

The appointment to the position may have political consideration as local Democrats would probably want someone who could win the race for state’s attorney in 2020.

Calls to Kern were not immediately returned.

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Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.

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