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Judy Erwin, Member Of Rahm Emanuel's Transition Team, Resigns Over Ethics Violation

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A member of Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's newly appointed transition team has resigned over an ethics violation at her previous job.

Judy Erwin, the former executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, allegedly worked on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign using her state-issued cell phone and e-mail account, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. An investigation found that she violated the state ban on political activity repeatedly between July 2008 and February 2009.

Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt confirmed to the Associated Press Saturday that Erwin had stepped down, and that the Emanuel campaign was not aware of the violation when she was chosen for the transition team. She reportedly wanted to avoid any "distractions" for Emanuel.

Erwin also served as a co-chair of Emanuel's mayoral and congressional campaigns.

In a decision filed by the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission in February, Erwin reportedly stated that she "was not careful enough in separating her political work from her state responsibilities ... and also that she had become accustomed to using administrative assistants in the private sector in a way that is not permitted in the public sector."

She cooperated in the investigation, paid a fine of $4,000, reimbursed the state and promised to never work for state government again. She resigned in August.

Erwin told the Chicago Tribune that she was busy at work and got careless. She also told the paper that she hoped her 30 years of work in state government would outweigh the commission's ruling. Before her position on the Board of Higher Education, Erwin represented Chicago's 11th District in the Illinois General Assembly from 1992 to 2003.

"Judy Erwin is a friend of Rahm's with a wealth of experience and he'll continue to consult her public policy knowledge," LaBolt said, according to the Associated Press.

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