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.


* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Oh, for crying out loud
* Not as simple as it may look
* *** UPDATED x1 *** State complies with court order on DD payments
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Nuding praises Arduin
* YOU Matter to Illinois Credit Unions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Point, counter-point
* Not there yet
* Will remap reform proposal hurt Democrats?
* Where are they now?
* Putting two and two together
* No excuse for this loophole
* From a "trap" to a "magnet"
* FOP wants override of AFSCME bill veto
* Report: 34,000 losing independent living services
* No movement yet
* Today's number: $58.1 million
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* 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

          
        * Razer is finally going to start taking pre-orders for the Nabu
        * Facebook’s deal with the NFL ends as 2015 season kicks off
        * Our 5 best new Windows Phone apps of the week
        * iPhone 6s bend test, Android Marshmallow comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * How do you customize your phone?
        * Hangin’ with Dr. Cooper: an interview with “the father of the cellphone”
        * Travel into the ghost realm in Whispering Willows, now on Android 

        * Kenny Williams update: Seattle has an opening; Toronto's might be c...
        * Double play ends White Sox rally in seventh
        * Danks on short end of duel because of HRs
        * Mariners 2, White Sox 0: Solo shots spoil John Danks' night
        * Danks on short end of duel because of HRs
        * Samardzija tries to end winless streak against Mariners
        * Thompson understands part-time role

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


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

        Archives
        August 2015
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        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


        * University of Chicago under boil order
        * Officials say house fire that killed 2 in Chicago suspicious
        * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
        * Slain US marshal's fiancee gets 1 year for charity theft
        * Belleville man charged in St. Louis New Year's Eve crash
        * Family seeks answers in East St. Louis strip club killing
        * Chicago police kill man they say tried to run over officers
        * Awards recognize Illinois students with big ideas
        * Chicago's Divvy bike-share program attracts developer
        * Ex-Washington mayor Don Gronewald dead at 83

        * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
        * Donna Arduin out as Gov. Rauner's state budget adviser
        * Cash-strapped Illinois: Can't do 'impossible' on social service payments
        * Arduin out as state budget adviser
        * Rauner signs bill allowing township governments to dissolve
        * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration
        * Judge will privately review disputed Schock documents
        * Budget expert leaves Illinois without state spending plan
        * Gov. Rauner approves Springfield railroad oversight commission bill
        * Federal judge blasts Illinois for not making all ordered payments

        * Beckman denies Illinois probe's findings, hints at lawsuit
        * Rauner, Dems double down on budget gamble
        * The revolving door spins at Bonobos
        * Starcom wins U.S. media for new Kraft Heinz company
        * Baxalta in talks to buy drugmaker to bolster independence


          * Man, 61, went missing 3 days ago from Lawndale neighborhood
          * Naperville mom threatened repo men with gun: cops
          * Motorcyclist killed in hit-and-run survived similar crash 23 years ago
          * 'Flames had to be just ferocious': 2 die in suspicious Southwest Side fire
          * Former Indiana attorney get 10 years for stealing from clients
          * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
          * 2 wounded in shootings on Far South, West sides
          * Officers shot armed man in Oswego, police say
          * Man killed, at least 11 wounded in separate shootings
          * One dead in Heart of Chicago after police-involved shooting, crashes


          * Illinois will be first state to lock painkiller pill bottles
          * Donna Arduin out as Gov. Rauner's state budget adviser
          * Cash-strapped Illinois: Can't do 'impossible' on social service payments
          * Charles Krauthammer: What six years of 'reset' have wrought
          * Rauner signs bill allowing township governments to dissolve
          * Our Opinion: Ducking sunshine in the digital age
          * E.J. Dionne: Trump's video game mastery
          * Esther Cepeda: Don't bake your DNA
          * Junaid Afeef: American Muslims can't tackle ISIS recruitment alone
          * Budget consultant may get second contract extension from Rauner administration


          * Coffee with the Plant Experts 08-29-15
          * Efficient Illini claim another sweep
          * Saturday SportsTalk 08-29-15
          * Now hiring
          * UI losing star professor to Northwestern
          * Hypocritical governor needs to be consistent
          * Weekend planner: Marking Matsuri
          * Smokers subjected to unfair treatment
          * Area history, Aug. 29, 2015
          * This day in history, Aug. 29, 2015


          * Bolingbrook woman charged in Aurora liquor store robbery
          * Naperville loses Pat Pradel, longtime mayor's wife
          * State of Suburbs: Shoppers demand updated malls
          * State of the Suburbs: Changing standards, tests transform schools
          * State of suburbs: Investors pump new life into business

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Illinois' Durbin gets a shot at political ......
          * Iran deal gives No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick......

          * Shangri-La set to tee off at NBO Golf Clas......

          * Filmmaker Talks About His Documentary Alleging Child Sexual Abuse At JPUSA: "They're Not Going To Shut Me Up With Money"
          * Landmarked District Proposed For Area Around Broadway, Wilson, Lawrence
          * Say Farewell To Keith McCormick Today At Fat Cat
          * 46th Ward Budgeting Ideas
          * Thorner: Brady, Andrzejewski address Illinois Forum Luncheon – Part 2
          * Masters of Manufacturing: Wayne Sikorcin and Tim Roth of Craftsman Tool & Mold
          * Black Homosexual Murders Two Whites and Leftists Still Blame Guns
          * Eric Zorn does it again. Talking with the #FightForDyett hunger strikers is negotiating with “hostage takers.”
          * Chicago Tribune: Teacher compensation is a perk.
          * Neither TFA nor edTPA. Becoming a teacher.


          * Governor Announces Appointments
          * State to Issue $16 million in Credits to Reverse Penalties for Monthly Electronic Wage Reporting - Rules provide relief for nearly 13,000 employers over the next six months
          * GOMB Director Issues Statement
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Rauner Requests SBA Assistance for Grundy, Iroquois Counties - Declaration would help people and businesses affected by summer storms with low-interest, long-term loans to help with recovery




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