* From an April 25, 2014 AP report…
The Illinois Department of Transportation increased the number of jobs that can be filled based on politics or loyalty by 57 percent in the last decade, documents released Friday show. […]
They deal with the hiring of people for “staff assistant” positions - generally paying about $40,000 a year - that the administration deemed were exempt from rules set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1990 ruling on an Illinois case known as Rutan. The Better Government Association reported last summer that IDOT skirted Rutan prohibitions on hiring based on politics or loyalty by putting people into the staff assistant positions. […]
IDOT said the audit Quinn ordered was of 61 positions - those still classified as staff assistants - and that the state’s personnel agency, the Department of Central Management Services, found that Rutan applied to 50 of them. IDOT said Rutan restrictions would be followed when filling those positions going forward but did not indicate that anyone would lose his job.
Anderson on Friday reported an updated number, saying that 48 of 60 posts were found to be misclassified and should be covered by Rutan rules.
* In May, the Associated press asked IDOT and CMS which specific jobs had been reclassified. The AP’s FOIA request was denied. Why? Read on…
But the administration denied the requests, citing an exemption under the law for documents deemed preliminary, “in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions formulated.”
Um, wait. Preliminary? I thought the administration said the classifications had changed. What’s going on?
* It appears that the administration hadn’t actually changed the classifications even though it claimed to have done so…
The FOIA denial contradicts the administration’s assertion that it fixed the problem in the spring. […]
Quinn’s office referred questions to the state personnel agency, which handles such reviews. Department of Central Management Services spokeswoman Alka Nayyar acknowledged in an emailed statement that the process had not been completed. […]
Neither Nayyar nor Quinn’s spokesman Grant Klinzman responded to questions about the contradiction in the administration’s statements.
The administration also is refusing to disclose the guidelines the government has used for two decades to decide which jobs must be open to any applicant and which can be given to someone because of his or her political connections.
Answer the questions, for crying out loud.