Is Costello the pick for top DNR job? No word yet, but he’s favored
Many expected an announcement today, but still no word from Gov. JB Pritzker’s office on the fate of DNR Director Wayne Rosenthal – or who his ultimate replacement will be.
Pritzker, a Democrat, was sworn into office Jan. 14, replacing Republican Bruce Rauner.
The strong bet for the DNR job so far is Jerry Costello, a Democrat from Smithton. An avid outdoorsman who has been active on many pieces of outdoors-related legislation in recent years, Costello – son of former Congressman Jerry Costello – joined the House in 2011 to fill a vacancy and was then re-elected in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Costello was a force behind legislation signed by Rauner this past fall that increased the penalties for illegal hunting – raising the restitution value of game species in Illinois. The new law specifies enhanced penalties for illegally taking antlered deer. Violators can be required to pay restitution to DNR of $1,000 per antlered deer, with an additional $500 per antler point for deer with at least eight but not more than 10 points, and an additional $750 per point for deer with 11 or more antler points.
Again, no word on Pritker’s pick for the top DNR job yet. But stay tuned.