* Dave McKinney took a look at House Speaker Michael Madigan’s 2012 nominating petitions and found that Patrick Ward was one of 30 circulators. Ward was at the center of the Metra controversy. Madigan tried to help him get a raise, and when the agency’s top dog balked all heck eventually broke loose. Ward ended up with a state job that appears to have been created especially for him.
Anyway, Ward wasn’t the only one of the 30 circulators who had a patronage job…
As many as 29 of the 30 people work or previously worked in government; a dozen acknowledge working for local governments. Another 17 appear either to currently be getting a government paycheck or to have been as of last year, based on payroll records that match their names and dates of birth or home addresses.
More about the circulators…
◆ In many case hold jobs for which politics isn’t supposed to be a factor in hiring, including sanitation laborer, plumber, truck driver, cashier and court reporter.
◆ Collectively were being paid roughly $2 million a year in their government jobs as of 2012.
◆ In some instances — Ward, for example — are drawing a government paycheck and a public pension.
◆ Contributed more than $200,000 altogether to political funds for Madigan or his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
◆ Work for arms of government including the Cook County sheriff’s office, the Chicago Department of Water Management, the City Council Committee on Finance, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the CTA, the Cook County recorder of deeds and the state comptroller’s office.