Hiring of SIU lobbyist stokes board rift - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hiring of SIU lobbyist stokes board rift

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A decision to hire a new lobbyist for Southern Illinois University is rekindling a feud between members of the school system's governing board.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports John Charles will earn $125,000 a year as the university's executive director of governmental affairs. The Springfield-based job has been vacant since late 2011.

SIU President Glenn Poshard says he's looking forward to having Charles on board. But trustee Roger Herrin said during a board meeting Thursday in Springfield that he's uncomfortable with the hiring. That's because Charles has been working with former SIU lobbyist David Gross.

Gross is chief of staff to state Senate President John Cullerton and helped block the governor from appointing three new trustees to the board. That issue has been a thorny one on the board.

Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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