New Appointments Announced at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
On August 31, 2021, Governor Pritzker reappointed the following Arbitrators to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission: Joseph Amarilio, Paul Cellini, Stephen Friedman, Gerald Granada, Jessica Hegarty, Adam Hinrichs, Jeffrey Huebsch and Maureen Pulia.
Arbitrators not re-appointed included Douglas Steffenson and Melinda Rowe-Sullivan.
Crystal Caison and Nina Mariano will join the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission as new Arbitrators. Caison was licensed to practice law in 2001 and appears to be new to Illinois Workers’ Compensation. She most recently worked as Senior Public Administrator for the Illinois Department of Employment Security. She also worked as a Panel Arbitrator for the State of Illinois, a contract attorney for the Secretary of State, Inspector General with the State Treasurer, law clerk for the Supreme Court, and Community Relations Specialist for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Nina Mariano has a background in Workers’ Compensation, having represented both employers and employees in her tenure as attorney. She was licensed in 2008 and was most recently employed at Horwitz & Horwitz. Prior to that, Ms. Mariano defended employers in Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims as in-house counsel and at private firms. Mariano will replace Melinda Rowe-Sullivan and will take over the Peoria docket.
On September 8, 2021, Governor Pritzker announced another appointment. Jacqueline Hickey will also serve as Arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Hickey was licensed in 2015. Her most recent employment was with GWC Injury Attorneys, and her background also includes work with other workers’ compensation firms.
Each appointment will last two years, and judicial training begins on September 20, 2021 at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Arbitration assignments also must be approved by the Senate, and we do not expect any controversy with the approvals. It is unknown when the Senate will approve the new appointments, and confirmations are also pending for previous appointments.
We wish all the Arbitrators well at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.