Illinois State Representative Keith Farnham, who was nominated for re-election during his third primary Tuesday, has resigned his office.
According to a statement from Farnham posted by Capitol Fax, Farnham cited "serious health issues" that he has battled for years. "The coming months will require my full attention," he wrote.
"The right thing to do for the people of the 43rd District is to make sure they have a dedicated, qualified and full-time advocate in our communities and in the State Capitol," he said in the statement, "to represent their needs and concerns every day without distraction or interruption. They deserve nothing less.”
The health issues were not mentioned in his resignation letter to House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The Elgin rep's home and offices were searched by federal agents Friday. It's not clear what they found.
Agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the search of Farnham’s office on Division Street in Elgin. A spokesman for the agency would not elaborate on the search Tuesday, saying only that it was conducted by special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit. ICE agents confirmed that computer equipment was seized from Farnham’s office and home.
While ICE lists dual roles in immigration and customs as its primary missions, the agency actually is responsible for many roles inside the Department of Homeland Security. A spokesman pointed to investigative duties ranging from border security and cash smuggling, to cyber crimes, identity fraud and child exploitation.
She refused, however, to elaborate on the nature of this particular investigation. No one answered the phone at either of Farnham’s offices. A Democrat and legislator since 2009, he serves on numerous House committees ranging from Public Utilities, to Veterans’ Affairs and Economic Development.
A personal biography lists his background as a painting contractor, and a former board member of the Chicago Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.
“Among Farnham’s top priorities is to enact meaningful ethics reform laws to increase government accountability and transparency,” his biography states, “and to prevent the George Ryan-Rod Blagojevich era from ever being repeated.”
This year he’s chief sponsor of a bill concerning commercial leases, congratulations to an Elgin Resident; a Laotian veterans plaque in Elgin; and petitioning congress to make 12/7 a federal holiday remembering Pearl Harbor.