First Auditor General of Illinois Dies
Illinois' first Auditor General has died. Robert Cronson was 87 years old when he passed away earlier this week at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.
The uditor General position was created when the state's Constitution was redrafted, in 1970.
It was an outgrowth of a scandal from the '50s. Then, Illinois had an elected, statewide Auditor of Public Accounts, a position held by Orville Hodge.
"He made off with a couple of million dollars," said current Auditor General Bill Holland. "And back that that was a lot of money. That's a lot of money today."
Holland, who is only the second man chosen by the legislature for the position, has been in office for 20 years. Before him, there was only Cronson, who was appointed Auditor General in 1974.
Holland credits Cronson with setting a standard of professionalism for the office.
"My work, over the last 20 years, has in large part, built upon the early years in which the office was first being organized," Holland said.
In a 1975 edition of the "Illinois Issues" magazine, Cronson identified himself as "bipartisan."
In the published interview, Cronson said policy wasn't his purview. He called the Auditor General's office a "fact-finding agency." He is quoted saying "It is our job to make these audits and operational reviews and investigations, and then report the facts to the legislature."
The Auditor General is responsible with monitoring state spending, and checking to see that agencies comply with federal and state laws and regulations.
A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, July 8 from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the Kirlin, Egan and Butler Funeral Home in Springfield, with a eulogy set for 7 p.m.