New Mike Madigan replacement Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar sworn in after Edward Guerra Kodatt resigns

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in as the new 22nd District state representative Thursday to fill the seat formerly held by the former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

The 22nd District state representative situation has been through a slew of twists and turns since Madigan announced he was stepping down one week ago.

Angie Guerrero-Cuellar, a manager for Envision community services which does contact tracing, emerged as the candidate to replace Edward Guerra Kodatt.

Guerrero-Cuellar speaks after being sworn in as state rep.

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Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar gets sworn in as the new replacement for Michael madigan's statehouse seat.

Kodatt had been sworn in Sunday, but in an embarrassing turn of events resigned three days later under pressure from Mike Madigan and Alderman Marty Quinn after they became aware of unspecified "alleged inappropriate conduct"

Kodatt had worked for Alderman Quinn's office, but was also pressured to resign from that job Wednesday as well.

Guerrero-Cuellar got hugs from family and supporters after the vote. She said she plans to be a full time legislator.

"I think my emotions right now, I'm still processing, right. This is a lot that's happened in the last 48 hours," she said.

"The next few weeks are going to be me being dedicated and hard at work and pushing forward and just understanding all of it," Gierrero-Cuellar added.

A mother of two and daughter of immigrants, she credited her mother with making this day possible.

"I had her standing next to me when I took the oath because this position is not about me, it's about her, and the choices that she made," she said.

When asked what her message is to her new constituents, Gurerro-Cuellar said, "To give me an opportunity, to understand that we may have difficult conversations over the next few months. We may not always agree, but I'm always willing to come to the table."

Madigan declined to shed any further light on what he learned about Kodatt or what failed in the vetting process.

"Events developed, Mr. Kodatt resigned, creating the vacancy. Today we filled the vacancy. I am anxious to move forward with Angie Guerrror-Cuellar."

Guerrero-Cuellar had been nominated by 23rd Ward Alderman Sylvana Tabares.

"Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation that could have been avoided. We could have avoided that if we had done a thorough process," said Ald. Sylvana Tabares.

She said there is a lot of distrust in her community.
"I'm not the only one that's frustrated," Tabares said. "The residents of the ward are very frustrated, they're just they've lost faith in the political process."

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker weighed in on the matter Wednesday afternoon.

"Well, let's be clear, the system of replacing a representative or senator has been in place for some time, and I do think it's worth a review," Pritzker said.

Even though he was only a state representative for three days, under state law Kodatt is eligible for an entire month's pay - nearly $5,800.

Ald. Tabares said she would urge Kodatt not to accept the money.
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