In addition to being a BGA board member, Ms. Leahy was a well-known downstate attorney, based in Springfield and specializing in labor law, and worked as a director of two state agencies.
“Mary Lee was a champion of people and worked throughout her professional life to improve the lives of others, ” said Andy Shaw, CEO and president of the BGA. “We’ll miss her wise counsel, generous support and unique perspective on making government better for the people.”
Her most famous case led to the same prohibition on patronage hiring in state government that the Shakman decree effectuated in Chicago and Cook County.
A link to her obituary is here: http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x1665849013/Rutan-lawyer-Mary-Lee-Leahy-succumbs-to-cancer
Ms. Leahy had been practicing law since 1966 when she received her J.D. from the Universityof Chicago. Prior to that she earned her B.S. from Loyola University (Chicago) and her M.A. from the University of Manchester (Fulbright Scholar).
She represented hundreds of plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases and in First Amendment Cases.
Mary Lee will be missed by all of us.