- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on new Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza taking office (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling on new Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to fight a lawsuit filed by her fellow Democratic lawmakers seeking to collect paychecks they haven’t received since May.

Speaking in Chicago, the Republican governor says it’s clear the lawsuit was “orchestrated” with Democratic party leaders such as Rauner’s rival, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Former Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger withheld legislator pay because of the state budget crisis. Mendoza defeated her in November and was sworn in Monday.

Mendoza says she will continue delaying pay unless ordered by a court.

Rauner says he hopes Mendoza will “fight as hard as Comptroller Munger has.”

He says she should hire outside legal counsel rather than be represented by Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office. Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, is Michael Madigan’s daughter.

___

11:25 a.m.

Susana (soo-ZAH’-nuh) Mendoza has been sworn in as Illinois comptroller .

The Democrat will serve the final two years of Republican Judy Baar Topinka’s term. Topinka was re-elected in 2014 but died suddenly.

Mendoza beat appointed comptroller Leslie Munger in a special election last month.

Mendoza takes over during a period of crisis. The state continues limping along without a budget for the second year in a row because of disagreements between GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.

The backlog of overdue bills tops $10 billion. Six Democratic state representatives sued the comptroller Friday over paychecks they haven’t received since May.

Mendoza says she will continue putting lawmakers’ pay in line with all other bills unless ordered differently by a court. She is treating her $136,000 salary similarly.


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