Illinois police probe Springfield mayor's death

Dec 14, 2010

(CNN) -- Illinois State police say they are investigating the death of Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, who had been ordered to appear before a judge in a probate case Tuesday morning.

No cause of death was immediately released. Frank Kunz, a Springfield alderman who serves as mayor pro tem, said investigators "didn't say much of anything" at a Tuesday morning news conference.

"Basically what they confirmed was it was the mayor and he's dead," Kunz said. "They actually didn't say much of anything."

Davlin, a 53-year-old Democrat, had been mayor of Illinois' capital city since 2003. He was ordered to appear in court Tuesday to account for an $845,000 estate for which he was the executor. He told a judge last week that he had hired a lawyer in the matter.

He was not seeking a third term in 2011, and the Internal Revenue Service had placed a lien for unpaid taxes on his home in May, according to county records.

Kunz said the city of about 115,000 was "stunned" by the news.

"Even when they had a press conference, they weren't sure all the relatives had been notified," he said. "But he was the mayor, so they had to do something."

Davlin, who was divorced, had four children. Police were called to his home about 8:50 a.m. (9:50 a.m. ET) and found the mayor "unresponsive," Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams said. He was declared dead soon afterward, and the investigation was turned over to state police, he said.

"It's very early," Illinois State Police Capt. James Wolf told reporters. "And as information develops and we are in a position to provide the media with more information, we will do so."

Kunz said city council members would name a new mayor at some point, but officials were still examining the laws governing mayoral succession. The city's administrative staff remains intact, and "If they had to sign anything, I can sign it," he said.



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