Gov. Pat Quinn says it was up to his transportation secretary to follow employment rules even when hiring candidates the governor’s office favored.
The Chicago Democrat said Tuesday his cabinet members “have a duty to make sure that they comply with the rules that I’ve set down” and are accountable for that.
* Let’s review, shall we?…
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. […]
“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.
The inspector general’s report said dozens of the staff assistants had ties to Democrats including the top leaders of the legislature, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both of Chicago.
According to Mr. Croke, if the agency has already identified a candidate that it wishes to hire into a Rutan-exempt position:
· the agency submits an ePAR to the Office of the Governor for approval;
· the ePAR is approved by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget;
· the ePAR is approved by both the Deputy Chief of Staff and the Chief of Staff; and
· the agency fills the vacancy with the desired candidate.
So, Quinn’s top staff runs dozens of low-level political hires through IDOT and never once stops to consider if all those sweet jobs that they couldn’t place anywhere else were properly classified?
Perhaps you have a different view of this. If so, please enlighten me.
*** UPDATE *** Rauner campaign response…
Fact #1: Pat Quinn recommended patronage hires to IDOT.
Fact #2: His chief of staff and deputy chief of staff (who still works for Quinn) approved all the hires.
Pat Quinn’s explanation is an insult to Illinoisans. He needs to stop making excuses about the illegal political hires in his administration. His office recommended the hires and then signed off on the hires. Not even Rod Blagojevich would be so brazen.