Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin was found dead in his home early Tuesday, in what appears to be a suicide.
The State Journal-Register reports that Davlin failed to appear in court Tuesday morning regarding an estate case involving his late cousin. He instead was found dead in his home, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams told the Associated Press that the investigation has been turned over to the Illinois State Police, and called the situation "very dynamic and evolving."
Davlin, a 53-year-old Democrat, owes the federal government nearly $90,000 in unpaid income taxes, according to the Associated Press. Liens have reportedly been filed against his home.
Davlin has been mayor the Illinois capitol since 2003, but was not seeking reelection, according to the New York Times. He told local media outlets that the decision had nothing to do with his legal woes.
"Today's news of the death of Mayor Tim Davlin is truly a tragedy," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement. "Tim was a great public servant who loved Springfield and its people. The city of Springfield is a better place because of his leadership. As Mayor, Tim led the community through some of its most difficult times and worked hard to revitalize the city. He was not only a champion for Springfield, but also for the entire state, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with the Davlin family during this most difficult time."
Even Davlin's former political rival had kind words about the mayor.
From the New York Times:
"He came out of nowhere and did so well," said Tony Libri, the chairman of the county Republican Party, who ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Davlin eight years ago. Even with the struggling economy and his legal troubles, Mr. Libri said, " he actually had a shot of being reelected."
City alderman Frank Kunz is mayor pro tem. City law requires that a new mayor be selected within 60 days.
Mayor Davlin's autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, and police said they were releasing no further details this afternoon.