Cullerton Surrenders State-Owned Car

Lawmakers must now log all mileage and trips

By Andrew Greiner
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 PM CDT
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Seeing Red: Republicans Who Could Reshape Illinois Politics

Ford

Cullerton gave up the Ford Escape Hybrid, which looks like this one.

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Illinois Senate President John Cullerton announced Tuesday that he relinquished the state-owned vehicle in which his son Garritt Cullerton received a drunken driving charge last month.

That 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid was transferred to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which will decide where the vehicle will end up.

Other state agencies have requested state vehicles but have been denied because of the state’s budget crisis.

The agency now has two cars remaining for senate Democrats.

“Since 1985 the Illinois Senate has owned six vehicles for official legislative business,” read a statement from Cullerton’s office. “The current vehicle fleet includes three vehicles for Senate Democrats and three vehicles for Senate Republicans.

“A vehicle assigned to the Senate President John Cullerton for official legislative business was used by his son without his authorization. President Cullerton is disappointed that this incident occurred and took the matter very seriously. In response the Senate President 1) had the vehicle removed from his residence; 2) ordered a thorough review of vehicle policy; 3) and requested that his staff reassess the need for three vehicles for the majority caucus.”

Cullerton’s office also ordered new policies regarding the vehicles, perhaps prompted by a Republican drum beat about limiting the use of state owned cars for personal use.

Lawmakers must now keep records of travel details including the date, time and mileage of the trip. 

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