SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More trouble at DNR

Friday, Mar 28, 2014

* This stuff has gotta stop. From the AP

The chief of state parks in Illinois must repay $7,200 of travel reimbursement he wasn’t entitled to after inquiries by The Associated Press, the latest in a series of missteps at the Department of Natural Resources since February.

Ronald House, the department’s director of the office of land management, was reimbursed nearly 80 times for commuting to or from work when state travel rules forbid such reimbursement, according to an AP review of state records.

It’s another blemish for Natural Resources officials, who initially defended the reimbursements as proper, after a series of recent public relations troubles: a deputy director who attended fishing tournaments while on sick leave and two mining regulators who accepted campaign contributions from a coal-mine operator.

Chris Young, spokesman for IDNR Director Mark Miller, initially said the director would not require House, who makes $75,000 annually, to repay the money because it was not his error. But Miller changed his mind this week and asked for reimbursement, ten days after the agency acknowledged the error.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


36 Comments
  1. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Looks like we have a department that should be a target for budget cuts. Who was asking posters to specify examples of waste and abuse? Steve Schnorf, are you still saying there’s no reform that can be implemented to reduce the amount of the tax increase?

    I’ve found that these kinds of patronage abuses (you couldn’t get away with this, or even get the job, without political clout) are much like icebergs; you only see about 10% of the size of the problem.


  2. - Just Observing - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    How does a high-ranking state employee believe s/he is allowed to submit reimbursements for their regular commute? I could understand if s/he had to go a different location than their typical workplace and it was a lot farther.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    ===Looks like we have a department that should be a target for budget cuts. ===

    LOL

    The place is a shell of its former self.

    It’s not budget cuts DNR needs. It’s better management.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    And the hits just keep on coming.

    == who initially defended the reimbursements as proper ==

    People drive process. It’s bad enough when people aren’t regulating themselves or their agencies properly.

    It’s even worse when they double down and try convincing you that inappropriate actions are actually legitimate.

    I wonder what made Director Miller change his mind and ask for reimbursement 10 days later. A sudden burst of clarity and conscience? Or learning John O’Connor was going to press with a story on it?


  5. - dog days - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Why does the director need a spokesman? Let’s start there.


  6. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Just a mindset. Up in my neck of the woods, schools superintendents make well north of 150k and feel they need transportation, gas and insurance to do their jobs.

    I get travel outside the district, but not to commute….


  7. - Union Man - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    I’ll like to have someone look over the books for the last 5 years!! I cannot believe this is the first time this has happened! Ronald House, the department’s director of the office of land management should be fired for try to get money for his daily ride. How did he get this job anyway?


  8. - Cassandra - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Agree with dog days, although this director may need a spokesman just to try and explain away his various errors in judgment. Like the one where he decreed that Mr. House didn’t have to pay back the excess travel reimbursement. It may not have been his fault, so what. At a minimum, it was still an overpayment.


  9. - flea - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Directors all need spokesmen so they don’t say anything overly stupid..on the other hand they can act as dumb as they want, apparently. This Director is a Quinn favorite


  10. - Not Again - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Hate to sound like a broken record, but DNR Director Marc Miller HAS to go. That department under his “leadership” has been a hit parade of examples of bad government which, in turn, will become the fodder of SO many potential ads by the Rauner campaign against the Governor.
    So what is the next story to come out of the Quinn/Miller DNR story mill?


  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    If Quinn won’t do it - Rauner will.

    You guys either need to clean up this stuff yourselves or someone you don’t want to clean it up will.

    The more of these kinds of stories, the more voters will feel they need Bruce Rauner.


  12. - Anon - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    If the place is now a she’ll of its former self, and this stuff is still happening, time to abolish the dept. Seriously, expedite automation and streamline management into the Govs office. Have a dep chief oversee operations. More efficient, more streamlined. Smart government.


  13. - Secret Square - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    “expedite automation and streamline management into the Govs office”

    You really want state parks and campgrounds to be purely “automated”? You think we don’t need real people out there making sure the grass is mowed, the restrooms are clean and rowdy teenagers, etc. aren’t laying waste to the park and harassing or stealing stuff from other patrons/campers?


  14. - Marty - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    “state travel rules forbid such reimbursement”. Political hack in supervisory position either not knowing rules he is responsible to enforce or knowingly violating the same. Payback is not adequate. Some sort of punishment, ie. leave without pay up to termination, is appropriate.


  15. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    This is ridiculous. The travel rules have been substantially the same since the early 1980s. (When Young AA wrote them lol.)
    They’re quite clear. The Auditor General will have his shot at DNR and that should be quite a report.


  16. - Roadiepig - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    It’s no wonder why they have kept many of the fish cleaning stations at lakes around the state closed (some since Blago gutted essential services, due to his dislike of anything “outdoors”, the year he took office). This type of waste is inexcusable. Maybe if they stopped picking political lackeys to fill important positions the DNR would have enough funds left to actually do what they were intended to do?


  17. - Confused - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    7200 for 80 commutes? It costs him 90 dollars to drive to work?


  18. - Sir Reel - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Reimbursement for commuting by executive staff at DNR is more the rule than the exception. It blossomed under Blago and has continued under Quinn. They sometimes get away with it by establishing the employee’s official office at a location outside Springfield, like where they live. Former Director Sam Flood was a classic case. His “office” was at some State Park in southern Illinois. The Director of a State agency no less.

    Some DNR employees’ offices are their homes.

    Guess Mr. House didn’t get the memo.


  19. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Why does the director need a spokesman? Let’s start there.==

    Agencies have communications staffs.

    ==If Quinn won’t do it - Rauner will.==

    Rauner is going to personally manage DNR? Or is he just going to micromanage it in response to FOIAs and media requests? Not a surprise he would govern by press release and reaction, because that’s the only thing he does now.


  20. - RetiredContractor - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    This is why we needed to add $2 to our vehicle license fee to support DNR?


  21. - Cheswick - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    I wish Chris Young was still at the State Journal Register. He’s an excellent nature writer and photographer. I do hope he’s happy.


  22. - Leave a Light on George - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    “Former Director Sam Flood was a classic case. His “office” was at some State Park in southern Illinois. The Director of a State agency no less”

    That State park was the Shooting Complex in Sparta. That place has hid/housed more phony baloney assistant, associate, deputy directors than the Oscar Myer Wiener mobile.


  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Miller needs to go. He was never a manager. Nice guy. But he is not a manager.


  24. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    There has always been political hacks at DNR. They are still there. They may be on the DNR payroll. But make no mistake. They work for the governors political campaigns.


  25. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    DNR has no time clocks. So house is not the only one doing this. Difference is the other people use state vehicles. They know it is illegal. But they count their drive time to and from the site as part of their shift. They have never been asked to reimburse the state for fuel.They always use the excuse they are saving the state money. Because sometimes they have to go straight to another work site in the field. They have always been on the honor system with keeping their own time.


  26. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    For the life of me, I have never understood why Quinn didn’t clean house of all this Blago patronage and install his own.

    Instead, he hears about a problem and then doubles down. Bizarre.


  27. - NearSpringield - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    LincolnLounger,
    It is ironic that you posted that here. In this case, that is exactly what Quinn did. The old director was fired, and Marc Miller was brought in at the beginning of Quinn’s term. Be careful what you wish for.


  28. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    LincolnLounger these are Quinn people.


  29. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rod was impeached on 1-29-2009.


  30. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    At some point you need to stop calling them Blagojevich people. He has been gone a long time. They are all now Quinn people.


  31. - Walker - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    Too bad this kind of ridiculous crap distracts from the real fiscal problems of the State.

    Yes. Absolutely. Clean it all up. Then get back to the $40+Billion long-term.


  32. - Allen - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Speaking or more bad news at the department, this story seemed to have gone unnoticed this past week.

    http://www.bnd.com/2014/03/28/3133343/lawmaker-state-regulator-whose.html


  33. - Rob Roy - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    He must not have had to take the “Ethics Test” That all of the state employees are required to take. And if he did, he should be fired and banned from holding any state employment.


  34. - s k hicks - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    You’re right Rich. DNR needs better management. They also need honest management. Dedicated career employees bailed long ago as they watched people like this turn the Agency into a punchline.


  35. - Robert Lincoln - Friday, Mar 28, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    I don’t know the man and I am not defending his abuse. However, If you believe DNR can be cut, you have never tried to enjoy what were once our great State Parks. Parks closed. Parks unsecured. Parks in disrepair. The Chief of the State Parks makes $75,000. Awful hard to attract a qualified professional candidate who will manage for that amount.


  36. - Retired IDNR - Thursday, Apr 3, 14 @ 10:33 pm:

    Director Miller needs fired - DNR has been a joke under his reign


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* New Quinn ad sparks Dem criticism
* Beware October
* Question of the day
* Quinn signs millionaire's tax referendum
* Today's map
* Thanks, but I'll pass
* Roberts appointment questioned
* Poll: Rauner has 14-point lead
* Today's rant
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Quinn campaign goes up with first TV ad of the season
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Instagram launches new Bolt app in 3 markets outside US
        * New “Fake ID” exploit allows new types of malware on Android?
        * iPhone 6 phablet dates, more Google Nexus phablet details & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Samsung Z postponed again, spells trouble for Tizen
        * Amazon prepping Kindle Fire HDX refresh with new SoC?
        * Microsoft to launch a selfie phone and another high-end Windows Phone soon?
        * NPR gets own Android app for easy access to shows,podcasts

        * iPhone 4S Gets Thumbs Down In Comparison Video
        * Flickr Announces New Licensing Opportunities For Photographers
        * Researchers Want To Use iPhones To Help Fight Malaria In Indonesia
        * BlackBerry Guardian Protection Will Extend To Android Apps
        * BBM For iOS & Android Expected To Receive UI Makeover
        * Sony China Teases Lady-Friendly Cyber-shot Camera
        * Instagram’s Bolt App Is Official, Limited To Certain Markets For Now

        * White Sox 11, Tigers 4: Slugging Soria during seven-run seventh
        * White Sox cruise after thrashing Tigers in seventh
        * Stolen base overturned by Tigers' challenge
        * Rodon to be promoted to Class A on Wednesday
        * Avisail on track to return to action this season
        * Lindstrom wants to be White Sox closer
        * Danks subject of minor speculation ahead of Deadline


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Leaders want more protection for aquifer - Hera.....
        * Rauner to release tax info 3 weeks before elect.....
        * Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaire.....
        * LETTERS Staying north; Quinn is in..
        * Plainfield park board bill still awaits Quinn’s.....
        * Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaire.....


        * Illinois boy meets Coast Guard rescuers again
        * $1.2 million may go to family of teen shot by cop
        * Group files appeal in term limits decision
        * Chicago committee OKs naming plaza for ex-mayor
        * NCAA proposed settlement raises medical questions
        * Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaires
        * Judge: Need more time to consider NCAA deal
        * Chicago Transit Authority reports drop in crime
        * NCAA proposed settlement raises medical questions
        * NIU, San Diego State set games in 2016, '17

        * Emails raise questions of politics in Quinn's anti-violence program
        * Quinn OKs ballot question on tax hike for incomes over $1M
        * Lawsuit against Quinn back in court in October
        * Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaires
        * Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'
        * Illinois State Fair manager fined by ethics commission for accepting free beer tickets
        * Sangamon County on its own for road salt
        * Sangamon County on its own for winter road salt
        * Lawyers will push to speed up pension reform ruling
        * Quinn says state EPA will block PCBs from Clinton landfill

        * Chicago committee OKs naming plaza for former Mayor Jane Byrne
        * McDonald's: Regulator says it's a 'joint employer'
        * NLRB hands McD's an unhappy meal: You employ franchise workers
        * Good news for Emanuel in latest poll
        * Durbin ups the ante on HQ moves, as Rep. Schneider appears to waffle


        * 3 shot on Near West Side
        * Horses on parade: Statues to honor fallen police officers, raise money
        * Photographer outraged at social media censoring of photos of moms, kids
        * Owner of dog killed by cop happy he got fired
        * 2 charged with attempted murder in shooting of 3-year-old
        * 3 men rescued after sailboat capsizes near Monroe Harbor
        * Sanctions reject Putin’s meddling
        * Cheap shots don’t help
        * Celebs, Nobel laureates make pro-Palestinian video
        * Sanctions reject Putin’s meddling ways


        * 8 wounded in separate shootings
        * 3 rescued from Lake Michigan after storm overturns sailboat
        * Lawsuit: Plastic surgeon illegally used woman's photos, labeled them 'cocaine nose'
        * Aldermen setting cannabis dispensary regulations
        * Man charged with murder after victim dies 10 days after Palatine beating
        * Masked intruders break into Aurora home and injure three residents, police say
        * Chicago man found guilty of 3 killings in 2011 outside Chatham bakery
        * 86-year-old won't be charged in concealed carry shooting, prosecutors say
        * Water Tower park to be renamed for Jane Byrne
        * Water Tower park to be renamed for Jane Byrne


        * Authorities Investigating Downtown Bomb Threat
        * Authorities Investigating Downtown Bomb
        * Governor Approves 'Millionaire's Tax' As Advisory Referendum
        * Jane Byrne closer to getting memorial
        * Christian Co. Shooting Leaves Man Dead, Officer Wounded
        * Excavation Finds Courthouse Where Lincoln Worked
        * State Fair Officials Fined For Violating Gift Ban...For Beer Tickets
        * Inspector General Finds Old Metra Practice Could Lead To Fatigued Conductors
        * Exoneree Diaries: "You've got anger issues, Dad."
        * Clout On The Business Side of Medical Marijuana


        * Our Opinion: MacArthur Boulevard Association’s success worth replicating
        * Lawsuit against Quinn back in court in October
        * Quinn OKs ballot question on tax hike for incomes over $1M
        * Sangamon County on its own for road salt
        * Illinois State Fair manager fined by ethics commission for accepting free beer tickets
        * Me Inc. offers plenty of dividends
        * Quinn says state EPA will block PCBs from Clinton landfill
        * Regulators say Illinois doctor faked pot paperwork
        * Illinois communities scramble to find road salt
        * New law expands state Holocaust Commission


        * Defense holds key for Illini
        * Millionaire tax to be on November ballot in Illinois
        * Illinois woman dies retrieving phone from fire
        * Monticello considers shrinking size of two city panels
        * Paxton committee recommends late charges for contractor's work
        * Villa Grove seeks staffing help during clerk's recovery from accident
        * Danielson, Hardy among leaders
        * Homeless drop-in center up and running in Champaign
        * Muscatine earns Blue Zones certification
        * Special needs children denied some rides at fair


        * Man arrested in Round Lake Beach shooting
        * Western Amateur one tough test
        * Kenny Loggins gets ‘Footloose' in Elk Grove
        * Abreu hits 31st homer, White Sox pound Tigers 11-4
        * Boy, 9, reunites with Coast Guard rescuers

        * Case files against Sandi and Jesse Jackson...
        * Mystery Loan Lets Ex-Representative Jesse ...
        * Mystery loan lets Jacksons keep both homes...
        * House passes Lipinski bill for Herbie John...
        * Renaming of Mount Greenwood post office in...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Improving Internation...
        * Rep. Lipinski Announces $206428 Grant for ...
        * Rep. Lipinski's Bill Renaming Mount Greenw...
        * Congressman Dan Lipinski to host 3 events ...
        * House passes Lipinski bill for Herbie John...

        * Senator Durbin & Leading Congressional Dem......
        * Senator Durbin & Leading Congressional Dem......
        * Senator Durbin & Leading Congressional Dem......
        * Senator Durbin & Leading Congressional Dem......
        * Senator Durbin & Leading Congressional Dem......

        * How Partisanship Could Save Iran Diplomacy......

        * Whats Happening With the Whitney Young Library
        * Meeting On Future Of Chicago's Dyett High School
        * Group Files Appeal In Term Limits Decision
        * Audience At Chicago Community Meeting On Future Of Dyett High School
        * NLRB Finds McDonald's Liable For Actions Of Franchisees; Fast Food Movement Applauds
        * The Battle of the Crater
        * Sunday reads.
        * Arthur Goldstein. Blaming tenure is a fool’s game.
        * Tuesday: The Return of Helen Shiller To City Government?
        * Tuesday: The Return of Helen Shiller To City Government? (Updated)


        * Pat Quinn’s Reality Check
        * Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Give Public a Voice Regarding Millionaire Tax for Classroom Education - Law Establishes a Statewide Advisory Referendum on Nov. 4 Ballot
        * DOI Calls for Health Insurers to Bar Discrimination Based on Transgender Status or Gender Identity - Insurers Are Instructed to Remove Exclusions of Coverage Based on Gender Identity in Plans Offered Under ACA
        * Hoy Op-Ed on Immigration
        * Governor Quinn Reminds Drivers to Take Caution in Work Zones, Directs State Agencies to Redouble Efforts to Protect Public and Workers - Encourages Public to Increase Vigilance Following I-55 Tragedy




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller