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Schneider throws Quinn under the bus

Friday, Aug 22, 2014

* Gov. Quinn threw her under the bus earlier this summer, and now she’s returning the favor. Ann Schneider is not to be trifled with

In a blow to Gov. Pat Quinn, his former transportation secretary has accused his office of pushing “the vast majority” of improper political hires in her agency even though an ethics report released Friday shied away from blaming the governor’s office.

As noted below, the Executive Inspector General assigned no blame to Quinn and instead focused all the blame on IDOT. Not so, says Schneider

“It is my recollection that [the] vast majority of Rutan-exempt hires were chosen from those recommended to me or my staff by the governor’s office,” Schneider said, referring to the landmark Rutan U.S. Supreme Court opinion that placed limits on political hiring in government jobs.

“The governor’s office would have been provided resumes of all such candidates and would have requested that we complete the process of having the recommended person approved for the open position,” she said. […]

“Neither I nor my staff were in a position to reject the recommended individuals for these exempt positions as no additional interview process was required,” she said.

Boom.

Time to toss another victim to the wolves.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


72 Comments
  1. - Wally - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    OUCH!


  2. - Cassiopeia - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Very good Ann. You rock.


  3. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    That’s definitely not….. “Quinning”


  4. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    I don’t like seeing this in government. I prefer an orderly evacuation from sinking ships.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    This makes NRI look like a trifle.

    Just sayin…


  6. - js - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Will the witness take the stand please.


  7. - Judgment Day - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    That one’s going to leave a mark….


  8. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    It ain’t ovah til it’s ovah!


  9. - 4 percent - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Finally someone speaks the truth.

    GO ANN!!!


  10. - WhoKnew - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    “As the toilet SWIRLS”!


  11. - Winning with Sheen - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Where’s that “Anonymous” Quinn supporter from earlier, oh that’s right, Campaign Manager Lou doesn’t work after lunch.

    So tell me again that Quinn isn’t responsible? Blago 4th term?


  12. - Bogart - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    So let me see if I get this…Ann says they mostly came from Gov’s office. I don’t recall reading that in the summary of her statement in the IG report. She towed the line until they threw her under. Who the heck is advising Quinn?


  13. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Is it getting crowded under that bus?


  14. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Nearest equivalent I can think of is that little incident with Alex Clifford at Metra.


  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    Ruh roh


  16. - Befuddled - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rich,
    Headline correction:
    Schneider climbs out from the under the bus, and then throws Quinn under the bus.


  17. - Befuddled - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    less the extra “the”


  18. - OLK 73 - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    Obviously no “Quinn Pro Quo” was offered to Ann. Hey, all is fair in love and politics.


  19. - WAK - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    In the world of sound bites and headlines where the average voters does not look into the details will this stick? You got an Inspector General Report with headlines that say no direct blame to Quinn and then you have this, it may very well just be me but her now coming out and throwing him under the bus doesn’t seem credible from a media optics perspective, even if it is the truth. “Resigned, disgraced former IDOT Director Blames Quinn after Inspector General Clears him of Direct Involvement.”


  20. - Judgment Day - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Wow. Bet the people who wrote the ethics report are in intensive care from a severe case of political whiplash. That had to hurt.

    I’m assuming the Quinn administration wouldn’t be dumb enough to do this patronage hiring with any federal money involved…..


  21. - Niles Township - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    I’ve supported Pat in the past in every election that he ran for, despite some comments and sometimes even more direct stuff I’d receive. I was willing to give him his own term kast go around to see if he could turn things around. He hasn’t. He is an utter failure at managing the state as a chief executive. I’m off the PQ bandwagon and on the anyone but Pat team. Rauner isn’t all that to me, but he is not Pat, and this year, that is enough. Whether Rauner is a good executive or not, time will tell. Quinn isn’t even an executive to begin with.


  22. - Befuddled - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Who will be in charge of talking to those 58 IDOT employees who will be under the bus at the close of business today?


  23. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    Ouch- that will comeback to bite PQ


  24. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    WAK

    Sorry have to disagree in this environment, especially when it comes to Illinois Governors people are willing to believe the worst


  25. - Kevin Lev - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    She didn’t say that the Quinn staff pushed IDOT to circumvent Rutan. That would be throwing Quinn under the bus.


  26. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Oh, Sean……


  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    lol

    I don’t think they can get rid of him so easily.


  28. - Cassiopeia - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    All 58 people that Quinn has fired are all politically connected and I can only imagine how angry their sponsors are right now.

    Quinn didn’t need to hurt these people, but it is always all about him.


  29. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    C’mon, WAK. Ann Schneider and all the folks at IDOT were doing what they were told by the Governor’s office. The fact that the IG didn’t find a paper trail and was conservative in their language is one thing, but this just blew the whole thing up. No wonder they tried to get ahead of the story with the “lay-offs”.

    Will the 58 laid off employees now sing, too?


  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===She didn’t say that the Quinn staff pushed IDOT to circumvent Rutan===

    “It is my recollection that [the] vast majority of Rutan-exempt hires were chosen from those recommended to me or my staff by the governor’s office,”


  31. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    Regarding the 58, the “positions” are being terminated, not necessarily the “people”? Optics are bad either way - if jobs can be “found” for most wthin the state, it helps placate their sponsors, but looks like “business as usual” to the casual observer.


  32. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Did Major Moron (aka Gen. Meza) really spend 3 years and how many millions to find there was really nothing to find?


  33. - Winning with Sheen - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    This is just adding to problems with Quinn’s base and his political support throughout the state is disintegrating as he nears election season. The winning margin will be within 20k, right Pat loses.


  34. - Bored Chairman - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Why can’t they get rid of S so easily, Rich?. He ain’t exactly beloved by a lot of folks Quinn is counting on in November. Abrasive, vindictive, manipulative, amoral. Karma’s gonna get him.


  35. - Larry the Cable Guy - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    Meanwhile, all them DOC guards hired by Republican administrations are laughing all the way to the bank. And all those other GOP holdovers. Now that there’s funny.


  36. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    She does more than just return the favor by throwing Quinn under the bus.

    She throws him under the bus and steps on the gas.

    Ann Schneider just became Pat Quinn’s worst nightmare come to life.


  37. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Sometimes the truth hurts.

    Other times, it feels like bus running you over at 50 mph.


  38. - too obvious - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    All Quinn has to say is he was “five layers removed” from the wrongdoing. That’s always good enough to satisfy the Illinois press when Rauner says it.


  39. - d - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    –newsflash– USA not a meritocracy, who you know matters. People in IL expect this. Rauner wins Governorship, he isn’t going to hire people friendly/helpful to him?


  40. - Bored Chairman - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Gin house. Proof someone is under fed investigation or you should be banned.


  41. - Tex - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    She’s not necessarily throwing him under the Bus. Please learn more about Rutan before you make that assumption. If a position is truly classified as Rutan Exempt (as she believed them to be… the position descriptions were clearly marked as such), it is proper and acceptable for political affiliation to be considered. Therefore, it would be expected that those candidates would come from the Gov’s Office. The problem is that IDOT staff used incorrectly created job descriptions to obtain Rutan Exempt status and had people doing work that would have otherwise been performed by a Rutan-Covered employee. The Gov’s office wasn’t aware that these vacancies were created with improper job descriptions, they only saw open positions they could fill.

    I know it’s an election year, but not everything is black and white.


  42. - kathryn - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    no one got hired at idot without the governors office giving the ok. Now the gov denies responsibility. He either participated in the hiring sham or he was incompetent in running his office either way he loses.


  43. - Juvenal - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Directors are political hires.

    Everybody gets that.

    Quinn’s office has tried to completely distance themselves from these political hires, which were illegal, and blame it all on Schneider.

    Schneider whom, we are told, is undergoing cancer treatment.

    Well, they lied. Not only were they not to blame for these illegal hires, Quinn’s office initiated them.

    Schneider should have known that the day may come that she might have to fall on her sword.

    But most folks expect to be asked to fall on their sword, not be thrown down on it.

    And when you are messing with someone battling cancer, you are likely to lose because, well, the governor’s office may think they know how to bully folks around, but no one is as scary as cancer.


  44. - Anon - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    It seems less likely that an IDOT secretary would engage in systematic patronage on her own than that a governor would. I don’t like Rauner, but the Quinn denial of responsibility doesn’t pass the smell test.


  45. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    It would seem illogical that a couple of folks at IDOT would be behind all of this without any direction, doesn’t it?

    Then again I don’t understand how state hiring works.


  46. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Actually, he’s gone as of the end of the month.


  47. - BigDoggie - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    What business or need would Ann Schneider have to call the shots on 58 political hires herself?? This “news” is simply confirmation of what anyone thinking with half a brain could have concluded when this story surfaced originally. Glad she has the cajones to make it publicly clear.


  48. - Illinoise - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    Agree with Tex - there is a difference between filling a Rutan position, and misclassifying one. It looks like what got IDOT in trouble was trying to improperly increase the amount of “Rutan-Exempt” positions, which happened in what, 2005? Not that I know what Governor’s Office staff do with their time, but it is probably not spent reviewing the details of every job description - that seems like something they would rely on their agency/HR folks to do.


  49. - Big Muddy - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Has BVC had his presser this afternoon? Wish he would get out there before CapFax is shut down for the weekend.


  50. - foster brooks - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    so she didnt bring this up during the OEIG ivestigation?


  51. - Anonymoiis - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    ==The Gov’s office wasn’t aware that these vacancies were created with improper job descriptions==

    LOL

    I’ve always wanted to know: what color is the sky in Fantasyland?


  52. - foster brooks - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Ann Schneider was no friend of IDOT engineers either, a terrible appointment.


  53. - Arizona Bob - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    Hell hath no fury like a politically juiced-in woman scorned…..


  54. - Steve - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    I’m not a big Pat Quinn fan but… is this really going to hurt him in Illinois if there aren’t indictments before the election? After all, how many people in Illinois got their job that way? I’m not saying its’ right. I’m sure a heck of a lot of people in Illinois are corrupt and don’t want to follow the law or ethics.


  55. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    Bored Yeah I know that was too harsh and I shouldn’t have said it but this whole situation leaves a real bad taste in your mouth. It isn’t something that anyone wants to see played out in the public eye. Dirty laundry like this is awkward. Sorry again Rich.


  56. - Anonymoiis - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==I’m not a big Pat Quinn fan but… is this really going to hurt him in Illinois if there aren’t indictments before the election?==

    It squarely attached the name “Blagojevich” to him again, and goes against promises he made to stop such things from happening. Yes, it’s gonna hurt…especially with the resources his opponent has to poor salt in this wound.


  57. - Broke Anderson - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    “Grant, I know we were recommending people for jobs on a daily basis, but say ‘from time to time.’”


  58. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    This is huge.

    This is leaving it at the doorstep.

    You go after it, what more will be “discovered”.

    This is currently, and will continue to be, a festering wound.


  59. - searchingfortruth - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Is it too much to hope for that at some point in this life we talk about a leader of IDOT in terms of building and maintaining roads?

    Rich hit it on the head with his “boom” commentary. That about covers it . . . . . . .PQ’s battleship takes a direct hit. . . . .water now pouring in . . . .


  60. - Buckeye - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Interesting that Quinn is hiding behind IDOT acting director (and young West Pointer) Borrgren to deflect criticism of his mismanagement of IDOT.

    I don’t think “Decorated Veteran” and “First at West Point” (they leave off the Petraus connection) will shield Quinn.


  61. - Broke Anderson - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    “One more thing Grant, make it clear that these political hires were expected to show up for work every day. ‘Our expectation is that they are doing the work they were hired for’ or something like that.”


  62. - BehindTheScenes - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    Who appointed Gen. Meza?

    Would Ann Schneider look good in a Rauner commercial? Probably better than “Ellen” being appalled in the Quinn spot.


  63. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    Did Ann say the Gov’s office asked them to create phony job descriptions to create more Rutan exempt positions? If not, there’s no story here. Just a lot of hyperventilating.


  64. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    a little late for a whisile blower now


  65. - the Lion - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    Quinn and his new Secretary at IDOT are shooting the wrong people! Also what about the hundreds that were hired as staff assistants, then were given different titles? They are still there.


  66. - Searchingfortruth - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    Anonymous - “You have to know when to fold em’”

    Fold em’. Your guy might get hit by this bus again but with more people on board the next trip around the block.


  67. - anonagain - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    Both Quinn and Schneider knew


  68. - Winning with Sheen - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    Willy nailed it. When they dig, what more do they find? Is the digging itself a good enough reason for suburban Cook to vote anyone but Quinn.


  69. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 6:30 pm:

    This has been the hiring process for all 26 years I’ve been in state government, since Jim Thompson. If the Governor’s Office sends someone over to put into a Rutan exempt job, you put that person in the job. They used to call these “must hires” back in the day. At my agency we called them the nieces and nephews, which in many cases they were.

    IDOT is a huge state agency and I guess they thought no one would notice the increase in these exempt hires. Ann Schneider is telling the truth. She was not in a position to refuse to hire these people recommended by Quinn’s office.

    What was done at IDOT was legal, to be sure. If a job is Rutan exempt you can put anyone you want into the job. Of course the story as to why there were so many exempt jobs is another story.

    The real issue here should be the nieces and nephews who were moved from their exempt jobs into real, certified state jobs without anyone else having a chance to bid on those jobs. There have been a few stories about those in the papers lately. If those stories are true then IDOT was violating the personnel code.


  70. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 7:01 pm:

    Hasn’t this been SOP at IDOT forever? Nobody should be able to throw too many stones here.


  71. - Trying to be a loyal follower - Friday, Aug 22, 14 @ 7:11 pm:

    Can the adults please return to the room? The children running everything can’t deal with this level of assault, and their inexperience contributed to this playing out this way.
    Is anybody able to take control before the plane hits the mountain? Please?


  72. - Walter Sobchak - Saturday, Aug 23, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    The insiders who follow the Capitol Fax blog (I’m one of them) love to laugh and slang about other’s troubles and fantasize about the authorities frog marching their enemies out of various offices. It’s a game we all play. But, the calumny is misplaced when directed at ‘S’ or ‘Sean’ in the comments above. He is tough, but tough and fair. Tough when it comes to good public policy, perhaps abrasive to fools and influence seekers, but never vindictive nor manipulative, and certainly not amoral. He gets things done, an anomaly in government and, no doubt, in getting things done, generates animosity among the seekers of the status quo.


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