I am pleased to announce that Governor Pat Quinn has named two veteran public servants to fill top administrative positions in the department. Nélida Smyser-De León was appointed Acting Assistant Secretary for Programs and Michael McCotter was appointed as Acting Inspector General. Both positions require Senate confirmation.
Smyser-De León has been with IDHS since July of 2007 and has served in several positions most recently as Acting Co-Chief of Staff, while Chief of Staff Grace Hong Duffin was on maternity leave. She is currently the Director of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OHLA), a position she has held since May, 2010.
Smyser-De León was Acting Director of the Office of Contract Management (OCM) from November, 2011 to July 2012. She was also Assistant State Purchasing Officer from July, 2007 to May, 2010. Prior to joining IDHS, Smyser-De León worked in the private business sector for more than 20 years.
Smyser-De León is active in the Latino community and serves on the boards of a number of community organizations in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from DePaul University.
Michael McCotter, a 40-year law enforcement veteran, recently was charged with investigating and issuing a report to reform the investigative operations of the IDHS Inspector General's office (OIG). He will now take the lead in implementing reforms that will restructure the OIG office, ensure accountability and strengthen protections for adults with disabilities.
McCotter's strong law enforcement experience and dedication to reform will help ensure that any abuse and neglect suffered by citizens with disabilities in Illinois is rooted out quickly and punished appropriately.
McCotter was previously appointed by Governor Quinn as chief public safety officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections and has served in several senior positions at the Chicago Police Department, including chief of patrol, deputy chief of detectives, commander of special events and district commander. He has had professional training with the FBI, United States Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, among other law enforcement agencies.
McCotter will succeed Daniel Dyslin who has served as Acting Inspector General since July. Dyslin remains as Deputy General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel and will continue his role as counsel to the OIG.
Please join me in welcoming both Smyser-De León and McCotter to their new positions. Their wealth of knowledge and experience will be critical as we continue to improve accountability and provide efficient, effective, quality services for Illinoisans.
In Service With You,
Michelle R.B. Saddler
Signature on File