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Illinois official resigns over tweet about East St. Louis

Blair Garber

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The chairman of the Illinois Lottery Control Board stepped down Wednesday amid calls for his resignation over a belittling remark about East St. Louis.

According to a report in the State Journal-Register, Blair Garber called East St. Louis the “sh**hole of the universe” in a January 17 tweet to fiddler Charlie Daniels. The musician was responding to Sen. Dick Durbin’s claims that President Donald Trump used the disparaging remark in describing African nations and other poor countries.

Garber set his Twitter account to private in the aftermath so only approved followers can see his tweets, but the response stated, “Charlie, Durbin’s home town is (get this) east St. Louis illinois! The sh**hole of the universe! Just do a google search”

Durbin has lived in Springfield for many years, but East St. Louis is his hometown.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner said Garber apologized for the remark and tendered his resignation, effective immediately.

Republican and Democrat state lawmakers called for Garber’s resignation. Rauner appointed Garber to the lottery control board in 2016.