Eric Whitaker


The former head of Illinois' Department of Public Health says he ``was not involved in any way'' with alleged illegal activities of his longtime chief of staff.  
In an indictment released this week, authorities accuse Quinshaunta Golden. They say she accepted $433,000 in kickbacks for steering grant and contract money to various groups around the time she worked for Eric E. Whitaker at the agency.  
Prosecutors have never accused Whitaker of wrongdoing.  

When Dr. Eric Whitaker got a call from the governor’s office, it didn’t occur to him he was being considered to head the state Department of Public Health. Whitaker, an attending physician at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in Chicago, the former Cook County Hospital, figured someone wanted his resume for yet another advisory panel. But then the governor’s office called back to set up an interview. “I said, ‘Interview for what?’” Whitaker recalls, laughing. “They said, ‘For the directorship.’”