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A very good question

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

* From the Illinois GOP…

On IDOT Patronage: Ann Schneider, the former head of IDOT, says Pat Quinn’s office strong-armed the agency into appointing Quinn’s political cronies. The Inspector General report shows Quinn’s chief of staff and deputy chief of staff personally approved every single patronage hire. Pat Quinn must answer Ann Schneider’s allegations – and he must explain why his chief of staff and deputy chief of staff would have approved a spike in patronage hires if Quinn had indeed given orders to stop it.

That highlighted point is spot on

- Posted by Rich Miller        


35 Comments
  1. - Terrance Peterson - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Somebody must have watched a A Few Good Men last night.


  2. - A guy... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    That’s nearly 500 Staff Assistants (quickly calculating) in 6 years at IDOT. When exactly is that job description actually “filled”?


  3. - Wally - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Double Ouch!!!


  4. - Bogart - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    What about the “spike in exempts” at Corrections and CMS? Can you spell FOIA?


  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Hey, when he was called out on it publicly and the papers started reporting it, he said he told them to stop it.

    Isn’t that enough for you people?


  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Who ordered the Code Red?!?


  7. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    As I pointed out almost immediately after Rich put the story up on Friday

    == A former patronage chief isn’t likely to hang a sign up saying “look here”. Those hiring patterns betray one heck of a coincidence. ==

    Those actions speak louder than any words.


  8. - Mr. Big Trouble - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    One Man

    No, it’s not enough, because it claerly hasn’t stopped.


  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    I actually thought Gary Hannig had the best response, essentially:

    “Not every rule was followed, but no laws were broken.”

    As I said with NRI, sometimes in the court of public opinion it is best to plead guilty to a lesser crime.

    By denying even a shred of connection to the hiring, the Governor’s Office is encouraging Rauner and the press to keep digging.


  10. - DuPage - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    What’s the turnover rate on those jobs? As higher paid employees left, were lower paid “staff assistants” being used to fill in?


  11. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    What I wonder is how many staff assistants have moved or will move into permanent civil service jobs, even permanent unionized civil service jobs. I assume one doesn’t remain in a staff assistant job forever. I think most of us understand that governors and cabinet heads can bring along their aides and policy advisors and that’s ok. If you want to implement something, you need people who support your objectives and can get them implemented quickly. But lower level “Rutan-exempt” appointees almost certainly have an advantage over those applying for permanent, Rutan-covered positions from the outside. So, over time, a political party could place huge numbers of political appointees into the permanent civil service, starting them as staff assistants and similar “exempt” titles. And since we appear doomed to Democratic governance forever in Illinois, our state government will soon look like Chicago city government under the Democratic Machine. Maybe it already does.

    It all seems so retro, but in a state where one party is essentially extinct, it all seems so
    normal.


  12. - phocion - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    A fair hit by the GOP.


  13. - Anonymoiis - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    ==What’s the turnover rate on those jobs? As higher paid employees left, were lower paid “staff assistants” being used to fill in?==

    So the difference between 2002 number of 3 and the numbers the last 5 years can be explained by turnover rate? LOL


  14. - Mason born - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Cassandra

    Also a very good question.

    Rutan exempt hires in a just world woul be placed on the bottom of the hiring list behind non residents.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    having your arm twisted behind your back and you said nothing till now?(jobs have dropped since you left)


  16. - Tequila Mockingbird - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Blago II
    Time for the voters to change things


  17. - A'mous - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    I miss bills perspective


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Santiago wasn’t a sub-standard Marine…

    There was no transfer order…

    To the Post…

    Quinn’s blind eye approach to this fiasco, and the numbers and the positions and all the phoniness…

    It doesn’t matter a lick that thus was done by everyone before the rocks cooled and the dinosaurs roamed the earth;

    This ain’t stopping the hiring, all this did was increase the hiring under the guise of a phony order, not followed by anyone, as was its alleged intent, and subsequent numbers increasing.

    Great work done in this!


  19. - Bogart - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    A’mous - Bill might have said - the “fumigation” never occurred because most political hires came from other than Rod. He had accomodated many requests from the GA and Dem County Chairs. Without the “fumigation” there was no room for new referrals, so new positions needed to be created. Oh, and that Rod was never charged with or convicted of irregularities or abuses in hiring. Quinn the reformer, not.


  20. - too obvious - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Quinn simply needs to say he was 5 layers removed like Rauner always does. Press always buys that excuse.


  21. - South of 64 - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    The wall slowly continues to crumble around Pat Quinn. Reformer, for the people, man of integrity, blah blah blah blah blah.


  22. - Bemused - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Who controls the information portal to and from the Governor? How much leeway has he given them to make decisions on their own?
    Every executive needs to delegate, I understand that. I think the question is starting to become, who is calling the shots. Not that I think what’s going on is real different than what has went on in the past. Mostly seems the folks doing it now are a bit inept.


  23. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Quinn falls back on his favorite defense: A claim of oblivious incompetence. It ain’t pretty, but no one can argue his point.


  24. - Statesman - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Quinnski is an extension of Blago. He keeps Blago’s go to guy -Lavin on as COS. Then proceeds to let him continue in his patronage ways. Quinn is no more a reformer than Gandhi was a beef eater. Hey Ho! Quinn has to GO!!


  25. - Tex - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    While the Governor’s Office approves all Rutan Exempt hires, not all Rutan Exempt hires are patronage hires. These terms, are not interchangeable.

    Many current state employees are in Rutan Exempt positions and are not Democrats. In fact, if we checked, there’s likely more R’s than D’s in these jobs.

    What the report and graph above shows is Rutan Exempt hires, not proven patronage hires. Let’s not lose focus on the fact that the problem is with IDOTS incorrectly created job descriptions. That was the catalyst. Had that been done right, they would have been classified as Rutan Covered and the Gov’s office would never have had access to viewing those positions in the ePar system. In of itself, considering political affiliation is proper when filling a Rutan Exempt vacancy.


  26. - TCB - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    @ A Guy……this is a headcount number, not the amount hired every year. This is the number of these people that existed at a point in time (Dec 31 each year).


  27. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    It must again be asked, were the patronage hires paid from federal funds?


  28. - DuPage - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    @Anonymoiis@11:24=”turnover rate”=

    A lot of state employees decided to become state retirees during that time period. I was told it was almost a stampede.
    I am wondering exactly what work were these “staff assistants” doing? Were they being used to cover up a shortage of regular employees? Were they being used to answer the phone while their boss filled in for former retirees? Or were they making decisions they were not qualified to make? What could they possibly have been using that many of them for?


  29. - Beau Joe - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Based on what AS step daughter started making when she started as “an assistant”, that was certainly not “Lower pay”


  30. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    == A fair hit by the GOP ==

    If Rauner wins, we’ll see how scrupulous Republicans are in putting an end to political patronage at IDOT. Anyone takin’ any bets?


  31. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Keep digging. What about all the new positions created at IDOT over the past ten years.


  32. - Illinoise - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    There is a difference between filling those positions and misclassifying them. It is legal and proper for any administration to consider political affiliation and referrals in rutan-exempt positions, as they appear to have done. According to the OEIG report, IDOT did not classify those SA positions properly, however, dating back several years before the Quinn administration. It looks like IDOT should have been more aggressive in their investigation of the positions, including their inquiries to the OEIG.That is usually what HR staff is for…


  33. - A guy... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    == TCB - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    @ A Guy……this is a headcount number, not the amount hired every year. This is the number of these people that existed at a point in time (Dec 31 each year).===

    Sincere thanks for the clarification. Still wondering what the number is to be fully staffed in this category.


  34. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    ===Still wondering what the number is to be fully staffed in this category. ===

    Infinity.


  35. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 6:26 pm:

    This kind of thing, along with all of the other NGI scandal, play well to the base but what impact in Cook County? For goodness sake, PQ qould not be the first “investigated” elected official to get relected there, they have elected indicted officials as well. I know they are not the entire electorate, just sayin.


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