This week, David Vaught of Naperville left his job in the Quinn administration as director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
But he was probably better known as Quinn’s first budget director, a man who came under fire for helping usher through last year’s income tax hike. He was confirmed by the Senate for the DCEO job this summer.
It's another milestone in a long friendship between Quinn and Vaught.
Vaught is a pilot who met Quinn in the early 1970s during Dan Walker’s campaign for governor. Both were on Walker’s staff in southern Illinois, and Vaught would fly Quinn and himself to Chicago meetings in a small plane.
“He was the only guy on the staff that would fly with me,” Vaught said when we profiled him late last year. “He liked the free ride.”
Quinn approached Vaught about the budget director job even before former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment trial was over.