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Governor announces latest round of agency appointments

Press Release - Friday, January 23, 2015

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he has made a number of cabinet secretary and agency board appointments. Today’s appointments include the Illinois Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Governor Rauner also announced he hired the administration’s Public Safety Director.

Name: Hugo Chaviano
Position: Director - Illinois Department of Labor

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Hugo Chaviano, 62, to be the Director of the Illinois Department of Labor. Chaviano brings more than 35 years of legal experience to the job, including work as a mediator and arbitrator.

Chaviano is currently a senior partner for Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, where he works on litigation cases in a number of areas including employment, contracts, transportation and torts. These cases have appeared before state and federal courts, regulatory agencies, and in arbitration and mediation. Chaviano has worked for a number of law firms throughout the Chicago area, including managing his own law firm that was acquired in 1997.

Throughout his professional career, Chaviano has become a leader among Hispanic lawyers within the United States and across Latin America. He has received a number of accolades for his work advocating diversity. Chaviano immigrated to the United States from Cuba when he was just 13 years old. He is bilingual in Spanish.

Chaviano graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in history, and he earned his law degree from Northwestern University.


  • Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman, LLP, Partner (2003-Present)
  • Adorno Yoss Sanchez & Daniels, Partner in Charge (2004-2008)
  • Cozen O’Connor, Senior Member & Partner - Latin America Practice Group (2000-2002)
  • Blatt, Hammesfahr & Eaton, Capital Partner & Chair - Latin America Practice Group (1996-2000)
  • Chaviano & Associates, Ltd, Principal (1990-1996)
  • Broderick & Chaviano, House Counsel St. Paul Insurance Companies (1985-1990)
  • Pretzel & Stouffer, Associate (1984-1985)
  • Shand Morahan & Co. (1979-1984)
    • Corporate Counsel (1981-1984)
    • Claims Counsel (1979-1981)


  • Northwestern University, J.D. (1978)
  • Rutgers University, B.A.  History (1975)

Personal Information: 

  • Age: 62
  • Hometown: North Barrington


Name: Rocco Claps
Position: Director - Illinois Department of Human Rights

Governor Bruce Rauner announced today he will reappoint Rocco Claps, 53, as the Director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Claps has overseen the IDHR for the past 12 years and is currently the longest-serving director in the agency’s history. Claps is also the first openly-gay agency director in the history of Illinois. 

As the Director of the IDHR, Claps worked with the legislature to expand the Illinois Human Rights Act and the scope of human and civil rights laws in Illinois, which includes Illinois’ first statewide law to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He also created a bilingual services department within the IDHR to more effectively communicate with all communities in Illinois. Claps currently oversees nearly 150 employees with a budget of more than $14 million.

Prior to his work at the IDHR, Claps was a Deputy Assessor in the Cook County Assessor’s Office. He also worked on two Democratic National Conventions, and in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Claps earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Illinois State University.


  • Illinois Department of Human Rights, Director (2003-Present)
  • Office of the Cook County Assessor, Deputy Assessor (1999-2003)
  • 2000 Democratic National Convention, Director of Planning (1997-1999)
  • Office of the Secretary - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Director of Scheduling & Advance (1997)
  • 1996 Democratic National Convention, Chief of Staff (1995-1996)

Awards & Honors:

  • The Civic Federation/Motorola Solutions Foundation Award - Excellence in Public Service
  • International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies - Individual Achievement Award
  • Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame Inductee


  • Illinois State University, B.S. Mass Communications (1983)

Personal Information: 

  • Age: 53
  • Hometown: Villa Park


Name: Leo Schmitz
Position: Director - Illinois State Police

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Deputy Chief Leo Schmitz of the Chicago Police Department to become the Director of the Illinois State Police. Schmitz, 55, has a proven record of building community trust, while reducing crime rates as a leader in the department. 

Schmitz has spent his nearly 30-year career with the Chicago Police Department, starting as a patrolman and rising to the rank of Deputy Chief. He currently oversees the Englewood district, where his policies reduced the murder rate by 44 percent, shootings fell by 14 percent and all other crimes dropped as well.

Prior to his work as Deputy Chief, Schmitz was the Commander of the Gang Enforcement Unit. He oversaw the centralization of 400 police officers from 25 different districts into one gang unit, which became the largest gang unit in the United States addressing gang violence.

Schmitz has been recognized at the city, county and state level for his excellence in police work. Notably, he’s received the Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor; the Superintendent’s Award of Valor and Blue Star Award; the Illinois Police Association Medal of Valor; and the Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Valor.



  • Chicago Police Department (1986-Present)
    • Deputy Chief, 007th District - Englewood (2012-Present)
    • Commander, Gang Enforcement Unit (2009-2012)
    • Commander, Gang Investigations Section (2008-2009)
    • Commander, 008th District - Chicago Lawn (2007-2008)
    • Lieutenant (2004-2005)
    • Sergeant (1998-2004)
    • Detective Division Sergeant (1999-2004)
    • Patrolman (1986-1999)


  • Illinois Law Enforcement Medal of Honor
  • Superintendent's Award of Valor
  • Superintendent’s Blue Star Award
  • The Hundred Club Medal of Valor
  • Illinois Police Association Medal of Valor
  • Cook County Sheriff’s Medal of Valor
  • The William Powers Leadership Award
  • Cook County Sheriff's Medal of Merit
  • Illinois State Crime Commission Police Officer of the Year
  • Fraternal Order of Police Distinguished Service Award


  • Southern Illinois University, B.S. Administrative Sciences (1982)

Personal Information: 

  • Age: 55
  • Hometown: Chicago


Name: Bryan Schneider
Position: Secretary - Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Bryan Schneider, 47, as the next Secretary for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. He brings a deep understanding of law and corporate business practices to the position.

For the past 15 years, Schneider has worked as an attorney for Deerfield-based Walgreens. Currently, he is the Divisional Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, where he worked on a number of programs and initiatives. For example, he offered regulatory and transactional support for the nation’s largest flu immunization program.

Schneider is familiar with leadership roles in Illinois; he is currently a member of the State Board of Elections, a position he’s held since 2004. He also served one term as the board’s Chairman, and another as Vice Chairman.

Schneider began his career in the General Assembly, where he worked as General Counsel for Rep. Lee Daniels while he was House Speaker and the Republican Leader in the House.

In addition to his law degree from the University of Wisconsin, Schneider is a certified public accountant. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Trine University in Angola, Ind. He also holds an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago.



  •  Walgreen Co.
    • Divisional Vice President & Assistant General Counsel (2010-Present)
    • Director, Health Care Contracting & Regulatory Law (2009-2010)
    • Directory, Health Care Regulatory Law (2008-2009)
    • Director, Government Relations, Walgreens Health Services (2005-2008)
    • Senior Attorney (2000-2005)
  • Harris Kessler & Goldstein (1997-2000)
  • Office of the Illinois House Republican Leader (1997-2000)
  • Office of the Speaker, Illinois House of Representatives (1995-1997)
  • Sidley Austin LLP (1993-1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, Law Clerk - Hon. Richard D. Cudahy (1992-1993)


Leadership positions: 

  •  Illinois Board of Elections (2004-Present)
    • Board Chairman (2009-2011)
    • Vice Chairman (2007-2009)
  • LEARN Charter Schools, Board of Directors (2003-Present)


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. (1992)
  • DePaul University, MBA (2001)
  • Trine University, B.S. Accounting (1989)

Personal Information: 

  • Age: 47
  • Hometown: Chicago


Name: Tom Tyrrell
Position: Director - Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Governor Bruce Rauner has selected Tom Tyrrell, 61, to become the Director of the Department of Central Management Services. Tyrrell has nearly 40 years of combined experience in the military, public and private sectors.

Currently, Tyrrell is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As the COO, Tyrrell oversees the day-to-day operations of the nation’s third largest school district, which educates 400,000 students; employs 42,000 teachers and support staff; and operates with a budget of more than $5 billion. 

Prior to his work with CPS, he was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Steele Partners, which is a strategic advisory and management firm. It connects innovating businesses with projects to improve the country’s well-being.

Tyrrell also spent three years as the Executive Director and CEO of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. He oversaw the transformation of the well-respected, but underutilized museum, into a state-of-the art educational facility. Under his management, the museum saw an 80 percent annual revenue increase within three years.

Tyrrell is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having served our country for 26 years, retiring as a Colonel. As the Commanding Officer for the First Marine Corps District, he oversaw recruitment in 14 states and managed 1,100 service personnel, which operated with an annual budget of $14 million. He also served as the Director of Strategic Planning & Coordination for the United Nations Interim Mission in Kosovo. Prior to that, he was the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Tyrrell is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also earned post-graduate degrees from the National Defense University - Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the Naval Postgraduate School.


  • Chicago Public Schools, Chief Operating Officer (2012-Present)
  • Steele Partners, Chief Executive Officer (2009-2011)
  • Cantor Fitzgerald, LLP/BGC, Senior Managing Director (2006-2008)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Executive Director & CEO (2002-2005)
  • U.S. Marine Corps
    • First Marine Corps District, Commanding Officer (2001-2002)
    • UN Interim Mission in Kosovo, Director of Strategic Planning & Coordination (2000-2001)
    • Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1998-2000)

Recognitions & Honors:

  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit Medal
  • Veterans Advantage Person of the Year
  • Ellis Island Medal of Honor
  • National Police Foundation Person of the Year


  • National Defense University - Industrial College of the Armed Forces, M.S. Strategic Resource Management (1998)
  • Naval Postgraduate School, M.S. Management - Acquisition & Contracts (1992)
  • Texas A&M University - Kingsville, B.A. Business Administration (1976)

Personal Information: 

  • Age: 61
  • Hometown: Chicago


Name: Rodger Heaton
Position: Public Safety Director

Governor Bruce Rauner has hired Rodger Heaton, 55, as his administration’s Public Safety Director. Heaton has 30 years of legal experience, including spending more than four years as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. His experience also spans years in private practice, as well.

As the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, Heaton was the chief federal law enforcement official for 46 counties from 2005-2009. Under his tenure, productivity in his division rose to record levels, which resulted in the filing of federal charges in approximately 1,300 cases. Heaton was appointed to the position by President George W. Bush.

Heaton understands the other side of the legal system as well, because of his work as a defense attorney. Most recently, he was a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson. He also spent two years as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

Until joining the administration, Heaton was an Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. He presided over federal administrative hearings of disability claims under the Social Security Act.

Heaton earned his law degree from Indiana University and holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


  • U.S. Office of Disability Adjudication & Review, Administrative Law Judge (2014-Present)
  • Hinshaw & Culbertson, Partner (2009-2014)
  • United States Attorney - Central District of Illinois (2005-2009)
  • Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney - Central District of Illinois (2003-2005)
  • Kirkland & Ellis, Partner (2001-2003)
  • Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney - Central District of Illinois (1990-2000)
    • Appellate Section Chief  (1990-2000)
    • Springfield Branch Chief (2000)
    • Computer Crime Specialist (1995-2000)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney - Southern District of Indiana (1989-1990)
  • Sullivan & Cromwell, Associate (1987-1989)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District, Law Clerk - Hon. Sarah Evans Barker (1987-1987)


  • Indiana University, J.D. (1985)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S. Agricultural Economics (1981)

Personal Life

  • Age: 55
  • Hometown: Rochester

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