News Local/State

State Has Checks For Only ‘Several’ Days After Topinka Death

July 2013 file photo of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka speaking in Chicago.

In this July 25, 2013 file photo, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka speaks at a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo/Scott Eisen, File)

The clock is ticking as state leaders face a dilemma in how to replace Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka in her current and future terms.

Topinka died unexpectedly on Wednesday from complications of a stroke. She was to have started a new term in January.
Comptroller's office spokesman Brad Hahn says the office is still processing checks to schools and state agencies that the Riverside Republican approved before her death.

But he says operations can continue only for "several'' days. A new comptroller must be named to approve future payments.
Gov. Pat Quinn has not indicated when he would name a replacement. The attorney general's office says it is working to interpret the state Constitution on the proper replacement process.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Topinka says a public memorial service is being planned for Wednesday, December 17th at Operating Engineers' Local 150 headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Countryside. 

Brad Hahn says the Riverside Republican's will was examined shortly after her death. He says while Topinka "made it very clear she didn't want a funeral or a wake'' she included a stipulation that her family and friends could hold a memorial service for her following her cremation.

A news release says fellow state leaders, colleagues and family will share stories and celebrate Topinka's life at the memorial. 

UPDATE: This story was updated to include more details about a memorial service for Ms. Topinka. - 12/11/14.