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SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner launched a shake-up of the state's historic preservation agency Friday.

After more than a year of controversy, Rauner accepted the resignation of the head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Eileen Mackevich, who has overseen the museum since 2010, was let go after a tumultuous year that included talk of splitting the museum away from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

The move could foreshadow the additional departure of historic preservation chief Amy Martin. She is technically hired by a separate board that doesn't meet until Nov. 2.

Mackevich, 76, said she couldn't comment on the matter Friday. The Chicago resident earned $150,000 annually managing the $145 million Springfield museum dedicated to the nation's 16th president.

Rauner appointed the museum's chief of staff Nadine O’Leary as acting director. A national search is underway.

Martin, 45, could not immediately be reached for comment. She earns $109,824 per year. She started with the state in 2003 and became director of the agency in 2012.

The changes come amid ongoing attempts to remake both the presidential museum and the agency, which oversees 56 historic sites including the Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington and the Bryant Cottage in Bement.

Rauner has proposed putting historic preservation under the agency dedicated to economic development, while making the library and museum a stand-alone state agency. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, also has proposed a similar set-up.

Mackevich's departure comes a week after Rauner named four new members to the historic preservation board, which is charged with hiring the director of the agency.

Among those named is chairman James Bruner of Jacksonville, who is president of United Contractors Midwest and a longtime Republican campaign contributor. / 217-782-4043 / On Twitter @Illinois_Stage 


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