The mayor of Springfield, the capital of Illinois, was found dead at his home.The body of 53-year old Timothy Davlin was discovered in the morning by police, who came to the house of the mayor after an anonymous call to emergency services. The mayor died from a gunshot wound.
(The New York Times)- The mayor, Timothy J. Davlin, was found dead around 9 a.m. after the authorities received a 911 call from an undisclosed person. The state police have not given many answers about the case.
Mr. Davlin, 53, had been mayor of this state’s capital since 2003, but he decided this year not to seek re-election. In a radio interview last month, he said his decision did not have to do with the legal and financial problems he had been facing.
At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, the state police director, Jonathon Monken, said he would not announce the cause of death until he received the results of an autopsy, which was scheduled for Wednesday.
“This investigation is very new,” Mr. Monken said. “We are just getting started with it.”
The death came on the day Mr. Davlin was supposed to appear in court in connection with a lawsuit alleging that he acted improperly in his role as executor of his cousin’s estate. The lawsuit was brought by one of the beneficiaries, Catholic Charities of Springfield, which said it had not received its share. In recent weeks, Mr. Davlin missed a court-imposed deadline to provide accounting for the estate, an issue that also prompted his lawyer to withdraw from the case.
Mr. Davlin also faced recent legal scrutiny for liens placed on his house by the Internal Revenue Service for failure to pay taxes. Last month, Mr. Davlin was quoted as saying, “I firmly believe those issues will be resolved in the near future.”
Alderman Frank Kunz, who is among the seven candidates already running for mayor, said he was with Mr. Davlin yesterday. “He seemed a little tense but he gave no indication of anything,” he said. “He was telling everyone everything was taken care of.”
A phone message left with Catholic Charities was not returned.
In Springfield, a city of about 120,000 people located 200 miles southwest of Chicago, residents were surprised and upset by the news of the mayor’s death. It was the topic everyone was talking about at Trout Lily Cafe, near the Capitol Building.
The store’s owner, Kate Hawkes, said Mr. Davlin had been outgoing and well-known around town. “We’re all shocked and saddened,” she said. “The police aren’t releasing a whole lot.”
Many state officials weighed in with their condolences. Gov. Pat Quinn issued a statement calling Mr. Davlin’s death a tragedy.
“The city of Springfield is a better place because of his leadership,” the statement said. “As mayor, Tim led the community through some of its most difficult times and worked hard to revitalize the city.”
Mr. Davlin, a Democrat, won a surprising victory in his first run for office eight years ago and was easily re-elected four years later. Handsome, with an engaging, confident personality he was a natural fit for politics.
“He came out of nowhere and did so well,” said Tony Libri, the chairman of the county Republican, who ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Davlin eight years ago. Even with the struggling economy and his legal troubles, Mr. Libri said, “ he actually had a shot of being reelected.”
Ernie Slottag, a city spokesman, said the city was operating as normal, but added, “It’s very somber.”
The City Council has 60 days to appoint a replacement. Until then Mr. Kunz will serve as mayor pro tem.