Evanston-based Illinois state official resigns after using profanity to describe East St. Louis

Blair Garber. Garber resigned this week after a derogatory remark referring to East St. Louis

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Blair Garber. Garber resigned this week after a derogatory remark referring to East St. Louis

Catherine Henderson, Assistant City Editor

Illinois Lottery Control Board chairman Blair Garber resigned and apologized after describing East St. Louis, Illinois, as the “shithole of the universe” on Twitter.

Garber, an Evanston resident and representative on the Republican State Central Committee, used language reportedly invoked recently by President Donald Trump to describe the city in southwest Illinois.

Garber declined to comment when contacted by The Daily.

The State Journal-Register of Springfield first reported that Garber used profanity in response to a tweet from country singer Charlie Daniels. On Jan. 16, Daniels mocked U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for being offended by President Trump referring to African nations as “shithole countries.”

“Mr. Durbin, I’m so sorry that your virgin ears were blistered by the absolutely horrible language president Trump used in front of you,” Daniels tweeted. “The president actually thought he was addressing a meeting of members of congress, not a kindergarten class.”

Garber responded to the tweet, saying, “Charlie, Durbin’s hometown is (get this) east St. Louis Illinois! The shithole of the universe! Just do a google search,” the Journal-Register reported. His tweet has since been taken down, according to the Washington Post.

East St. Louis, a city across the Missouri River from St. Louis, is a predominantly black city, according to the Post. About 44 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle denounced Garber’s comments and called for him to resign, the Journal-Register reported. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner accepted his resignation and an apology on Wednesday, according to media reports.

Nikki Baim contributed reporting.

A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the river on which East St. Louis is located. It is located on the Mississippi River. The Daily regrets the error.

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