Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Blagojevich’s doomed defense
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Blagojevich’s doomed defense

Friday, Aug 11, 2006

As I told Capitol Fax readers this morning, the governor is basically using Robert Sorich’s failed defense strategy by attacking these two whistleblowers. First, the set-up:

Gov. Blagojevich’s office aimed Thursday to tighten a noose around two former state personnel workers cooperating with federal authorities in a probe of his administration’s hiring practices, alleging in a new legal filing they’re responsible for giving thousands of politically connected applicants special treatment in state jobs.

The governor’s office submitted thousands of names and related personnel paperwork in a filing with the Illinois Civil Service Commission, which is hearing the case of Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey. The two say they’re being scapegoated for hiring practices passed from on high. Blagojevich has maintained they gave people with clout favorable treatment by allowing them to retake tests, among other things.

The two worked for the Central Management Services Department, handling personnel matters, before being transferred to other state jobs and then fired. They’re asking for their jobs back.

The Tribune brings it home.

Joseph Gagliardo and Gregory James, acting as attorneys for the administration, said there was nothing wrong with the governor’s office recommending or referring certain applicants for jobs.

“It goes back to them [DeFraties and Casey] being gatekeepers,” Gagliardo said. “If something isn’t appropriate, they should have said it [to officials in the governor’s office].”

But Draper said it defied common sense to think that DeFraties and Casey should have stood up to the governor’s office at the same time it was sending them job referrals.

“It’s convenient the governor’s office said they were just faxing over applications but weren’t trying to get special treatment for their people,” Draper said. “That’s nonsense.”

One of Sorich’s claims was that he never ordered anyone to hire applicants. As Daley’s patronage chief, Sorich merely recommended job candidates to the city’s various personnel directors.

Mayor Daley’s patronage office worked behind the scenes to place clout-backed candidates into city jobs by slipping lists of future “hires” to a personnel director, a key witness in the hiring scandal testified Tuesday. […]

Mary Jo Falcon, former director of personnel at the city’s Sewers Department, testified that when she took her position in 1994, she was told whom she answered to.

“My boss was the mayor’s office,” Falcon said she was told by her predecessor, Daniel Exposito.

Her contact was Robert Sorich, the man who headed the mayor’s Intergovernmental Affairs Office, she said. Sorich, along with Timothy McCarthy, John Sullivan and Patrick Slattery, are on trial accused of manipulating the city’s hiring system to reward political workers with jobs.

But Falcon said the IGA, known as the mayor’s patronage office, was intensely involved in hiring decisions in her department, where she worked from 1994 to 2005. She left after federal authorities seized computer files in her office last year. She soon began cooperating.

The Sorich defense didn’t work against testimony from people like Falcon, and I seriously doubt that this Blagojevich move will succeed. From all I can gather, there was also “intense” pressure on state personnel directors to go along with “recommendations” from the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, Krol looks at the impact any indictments could have on the governor’s race.

UPDATE: I should add that the governor’s move may or may not succeed at the Civil Service Commission. I meant whether the tactic succeeds or not with the feds.

I would bet big bucks that what they’re hoping for here is a win at the Commission so they can claim before the election that the governor and his people have been “exonerated” and that the real corruption was perpetrated by two “bad apples.” That might work in the short term. I’m talking about long term.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - BigBob - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 8:32 am:

    The Governor’s Office made referrals without any pressure and expectation that those referred would be hired. CMS employees did all this on there own without discussions with or reporting to the Governor’s Office about the status of their referrals. Well, I was born just yesterday and this defense really sounds plausable to me. Not!

    This defense will never work. According to earlier media articles, the Inspector General’s report said the Governor’s Personnel Office was illegally controlling hiring at major state agencies with utter disregard for existing law. I would bet DeFraties and Casey are sharing notes and emails with the Feds that will support the IG’s report relative to their actions.

    This is a smoke screen. If Blago was serious, he would also fire the Governor’s Personnel Office staff that engaged in the identified illegal acts.

    Governor Blagojevich, why are Mr. Cini and the others still state employees? Why are you afraid to fire these bad apples.

  2. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 8:45 am:

    Corruption stinks, and corruption from a guy who promised to end it is simply inexcusable. Blagojevich set himself up by promising us he would end business as usual and promising needed campaign reforms. He has done absolutely nothing but mock his own words. We’ve had guys like Ryan who we all knew worked the system and when he got canned, we immediately went for the Knight In Shining Armor. He has turned out to be a total fraud.

    This election is about Blagojevich. He failed and should not be re-elected.

  3. - anon - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 8:57 am:

    Ha, “intense pressure?” Many of the personnel directors were place in that position by the administration.

  4. - Shallow Pharnyx - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 9:27 am:

    I’m with DeFraties and Casey. Having worked under this administration, I can tell you their hacks are intimidating. What other motive would DeFraties and Casey have for giving thousands of politically connected applicants special treatment in state jobs? They were told to get them hired and they did. I did what I was told and I also left the state cause the showers just could not shake the slime off.

  5. - anonymous - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 9:37 am:

    I”m not an attorney, but how dumb is this accusation and the gov’s defense? Two worker bees had thousands of friends they helped get state positions? And the gov had no involvement…we can only hope the gov just handed over what the feds need to nail him good, and soon. Only political machines have this many “friends”. DeFraties and Casey are two good people forced into servitude in order to continue to be able to support their families. Listen to the comments of the state employees of this and other blog sites. Blago has ruled by instilling fear and intimidating state employees. But this case really takes that to the extreme.

  6. - Still Anon - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 9:47 am:

    There’s another little nuance here. Shame on the agency directors who didn’t demand only qualified hires. The best director I ever worked for was the one who routinely said to the G’s office “I’ll interview anyone you send, but the last word has to be mine.” Out of all those candidates surely there were some who could do the jobs well - I can name several, can you?

  7. - Yvette - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 9:59 am:

    Um, agency directors *did* demand qualified hires. But the governor’s people said, no, hire my people instead. The story is with the smaller agencies. Look at the smaller, “under the radar” agencies for rampant examples of this.

  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 10:09 am:

    I like Dawn Defraties, so I mean this as no offense to her: if she had 2,000 politically connected friends, she’d be an alderman right now and her husband a state representative.

    That said, Dawn is no idiot, and I’d bet the house that she has a file a foot thick on everyone who ever “recommended” a candidate to her. They are trying to throw the wrong person under the bus.

  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 10:10 am:

    You’d win that bet, YDD

  10. - DOWNSTATE - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 10:17 am:

    i heard she made copies of everything so she might of realized what she was working with and needed a little insurance.I also heard she wore a wire but that was a little unrelable but I guess with this bunch anything goes.

  11. - Wigand - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 10:39 am:

    YDD, you are correct. Maybe it’s from having to many people thrown under it, but the wheels are coming off of this bus, and a number of the drivers are on the verge of getting what they’ve got coming to them.

  12. - Anony - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 10:42 am:

    (20 ILCS 415/7c) Members of the Civil Service Commission in office at the time of the effective date of this Act shall continue in office until the expiration of the terms for which they were appointed. Their successors shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate for terms ending 6 years from the date of expiration of the terms for which their predecessors were appointed, except that a person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of a 6 year term shall be similarly appointed for the remainder of the unexpired term.

    So, how many of the current members were appointed by Blago?

  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 11:27 am:

    One of the members is Rod’s babysitter.

  14. - Bubs - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 12:49 pm:

    I think Eric Krol has it right. An indictment of Blago anytime soon is a fantasy, even if he is guilty of something. The Feds carefully work their way up the food chain, conviction by conviction, and they have all the time in the world.

    An indictment of Cini, Rezko, etc. is still a possibility before Nov. 7. But I’ve never heard a peep that they are offically targets, etc.

  15. - Bubs - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 12:51 pm:

    On second thought, $700,000 plus in Blago legal bills certainly indicates that SOMETHING is up.

  16. - Little Egypt - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 1:24 pm:

    YDD - I would have to correct you on one thing. The foot thick file is now in the possession of the FBI and her attorney has a copy. I don’t think Dawn would keep evidence like that anywhere for it to be found, such as in a break-in.

    I’d like to know the members of the Civil Service Commission and what allegiance they have to GoverNOT Hairdo. Anon 11:27 says one member is Rod’s babysitter but who are the others and can we count on them giving an unbiased, objective, truthful, above board opinion, free from interference of the GoverNOT’s office? If the SSC rules in favor of the Gov on this one, I’d be real skeptical that it was a decision free from intimidation. I really don’t think GoverNOT Hairdo can win with this one - no matter what the decision. The press will be all over him if it comes down in his favor. This whole thing is beginning to reek.

  17. - Tollway Insiders - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 2:07 pm:

    Let refresh everyone’s memories!

    The two main areas of investigation are politics as usual (pay-to-play) and political patronage hiring (Rutan violations).

    1. USA V. CARI – Pension fraud and “pay to play” affecting the Teachers’ Retirement System. Indictment and plea agreement affecting Joe Cari identifies the Governor as Public Official A.
    2. RUTAN 1 – Office of the governor. Subpoenas for political hiring.
    3. RUTAN II – Blagojevich’s Department of Children & Family Services. Subpoenas for political hiring
    4. RUTAN III – Blagojevich’s Department of Corrections. Subpoenas for political hiring.
    5. RUTAN IV – Blagojevich’s Department of Transportation. Subpoenas for political hiring.
    6. RUTAN V – Illinois State Toll Highway Authority – 6 workers claim they were fired/let go for political reasons.
    7. RUTAN VI – Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency – being sued for Rutan violation in whistleblower action for improper discharge.
    8. RUTAN VII – Illinois Department of Transportation – job-rigging charges affecting Joseph Cini – head of Governor’s office of Intergovermental affairs.

    How many? No one knows for sure.

  18. - Little Egypt - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 2:24 pm:

    Thanks Tollway Insiders. It’s good to have a running list of subpoenas.

  19. - Madame Defarge - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 2:48 pm:

    missing computers and cell phones at DPH

  20. - Bob Greenlee - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 2:54 pm:

    Why is that bus coming my way??? Is that you Joe? Is it, could it be, is that you Dawn???? Please, please, don’t throw me under the bus, please!!!

    Moderator: It’s too late Bob…’s too late!! Maybe, just maybe, if you stopped screwing with people the bus will pass you by……..Naaaaahhhhh!

  21. - Anon. - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 2:55 pm:

    Dawn isn’t the only state employee who has taken valuable information home. There are many employees who have to get their hands dirty or risk losing their jobs, or being retaliated against.

  22. - Say it ain't so - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 3:08 pm:

    Blogo, you promised it would be better!!! Oh gosh, did we fall for that silly promise. How dumb of us hayseeds. Oh, in case you’re wondering what I think about your breaking your promise, I’ll blow you a kiss if I’m on your jury!!!

  23. - NumbersGuy - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 3:36 pm:

    YDD, you are spot on today. How about this; Would you bet by the time it’s all over that there are more than 2,200 cooperating State employee witnesses in the collective Blagojevich investigations?

    PS: Tollway, nice list, but you missed a couple.

    -USA v. Levine: Fraud, Bribery, etc. surrounding the Health Care Facilities Authority.

    -”HealthGate”: CMS. Bidrigging of State healthcare contracts and how “Health Maintenance Organization A” mysteriously fell off the approved list after they forgot to attend a Blago fundraiser.

  24. - Shallow Pharnyx - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 5:39 pm:

    Bob Greenlee-
    Please contact me (through Rich, if he is willing). We probably know each other.

  25. - Cat - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 5:54 pm:

    Tollway - I thought that the Feds were looking at some contract rigging issues - maybe at IDOT…. Isn’t that why all the original signed contracts were sent to a Chicago law firm? Anybody know?

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 11, 06 @ 5:56 pm:

    OK, everyone. Go out and play. I’m going back to the Fair. Comments are closed for the weekend. :)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Illinois Veterans' Home timeline raises even more questions
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





* New law aimed at combatting fraudulent opioid p.....
* Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or .....
* Rauner's big health care headache in 2018? Medi.....
* Rauner’s big health care headache in 2018? Medi.....
* Illinois Women Tell Their #Metoo Stories..
* Rauner Signs Opioid Rx Law - WSIU..
* Morning Spin: Emanuel breaks silence on Berrios.....
* New Illinois law aimed at combatting fraudulent.....

* Rookie bomb-sniffing dog at airport has pooping problem
* Judge: Video gambling profits must be split with operators
* Chicago Transit Authority to raise 2018 train, bus fares
* Ex-cop sentenced for tipping off friend about drug arrest
* Scott Air Force Base official under sexual misconduct probe
* EPA: East Chicago cleanup to cost 4 times original estimate
* Families blame state in veterans home Legionnaires' outbreak
* Jury: Family gets $48M in lawsuit over girl's torture death
* Chicago approves paying $31M to 4 wrongfully convicted men
* Chicago creates task force to focus on vehicular attacks

* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
* Schoenburg: Jones leads fundraising in 13th Democratic primary
* Governor candidates want action on Legionnaire’s outbreak at veterans home
* Schoenburg: Pritzker foundation gave $50 million in 3 years
* Families blame state in veterans home Legionnaires' outbreak
* State insurance department promotes ACA sign-up period
* Westerfield, Hicks, Senor among candidates hit with petition objections
* Fact check: Did Rauner or Pritzker release more tax info?
* Objections filed to candidate petitions
* Illinois' legislative conflicts law could be better, official says

* DePaul explores health care expansion
* Chicago Cares, WomenOnCall to merge
* Rauner's big health care headache in 2018? Medicaid.
* Fed raises rates
* One casualty of the tax bill compromise: Obamacare mandate

* Coroner: Accused Kentucky state lawmaker’s death is apparent suicide
* In the music spotlight: Andrew Bird
* Apprentice star says White House didn’t fire her
* As ‘net neutrality’ vote nears, some brace for a long fight
* Ample tax cuts for business, wealthy in new GOP tax accord
* Putin: US hurts itself with ‘invented’ Trump collusion case
* Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal
* Serial bank robber strikes TCF Bank branch in Arlington Heights
* New Audi Q5 reflects Gen-1’s winning approach
* 2 teens charged with fatal Park Forest shooting

* Today's net neutrality vote will change the Internet forever, and consumers will pay
* Bears No. 1 (and only) receiver Kendall Wright has better hands than eyes
* Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 workers, a quarter of its global work force
* Indian Head Park sergeant charged with shooting 22-year-old son
* Boy, 16, charged with attempted robbery of off-duty Chicago police officer
* Torture death of 8-year-old Gizzell Ford leads to $48M jury award over doctor missteps
* Stagg cheerleading coach terminated over 'profane' text message with student
* White Sox make 'impressive offer' for Manny Machado
* CTA OKs 25-cent fare hikes as watchdog group gives thumbs down to budget
* Blackhawks Q&A: How much do the Blackhawks miss Artemi Panarin on the power play?

» Illinois Women Tell Their #Metoo Stories
» Illinois Issues: A Personal Story
» Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or Not To Billionaire?
» Pritzker To Be First On Primary Ballot
» 3 Years, 13 Legionnaires’ Deaths At Illinois Veterans’ Home
» Protesters Disrupt Meeting, Call For Palos Trustee To Quit Over ‘Racist’ Comments
» Chicago Hospital First To Sue Over Bad Rating
» Cook County Republican Files For Illinois Treasurer Seat
» Chicago To Pay $31 Million To 4 Wrongly Convicted For Rape, Murder
» Court: 'Making A Murderer' Defendant's Confession Stands

* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
* Kathleen Parker: Women's rage unleashed
* Schoenburg: Jones leads fundraising in 13th Democratic primary
* Governor candidates want action on Legionnaire’s outbreak at veterans home
* Schoenburg: Pritzker foundation gave $50 million in 3 years
* Families blame state in veterans home Legionnaires' outbreak
* State insurance department promotes ACA sign-up period
* Our View: Better ways for Lincoln Library to address late fines
* Sandy Hook police chief: From grief, doing good
* Catherine Rampell: The Trump administration's tax 'report' reads like fan fiction

* O’Fallon Police Department will host a Breakfast with Santa
* Tips to stay safe in winter weather
* Void left by Bixby center closure still felt in Saline County
* Caught on video? Four arrested in storage unit burglaries after owner sees crimes take place.
* YMCA merger gives choices to people on the go on both sides of the river
* Ahrens receives service plaque
* Grief can overshadow holiday happiness
* Health department names 'leader for the future'
* Stuff the Bus items down, dollars up
* Daily Digest 12/14/17

* How Trump rejected the Russia intelligence
* What is net neutrality and why does it matter?
* Report: Crystal Lake sex offender receives probation for playing Santa in Huntley
* Feder: Todd Manley named WGN Radio station manager
* TCF Bank in Arlington Heights robbed Wednesday

* Kendall GOP chief to challenge Kinzinger i...
* Letter: Consumers taking a hit - Northwest...
* Christmas ruminations; farewell to 2017, h...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* Suburban Democrats line up to challenge Ro...
* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Hultgren, Roskam help deliver tax bill for...
* Kendall GOP chief to challenge Kinzinger i...
* Over 40 Members of Congress Urge President...
* Letter: Consumers taking a hit - Northwest...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Sunday week in review.
* Rauner kills. Nursing homes and veteran homes.
* The Week In Chicago Rock
* Charter Schools Are Complicit With Segregation
* I’m sure Van Dyke feels picked upon by reporter-type he wanted to silence
* Journalist Jamie Kalven won't be forced to identify his Laquan McDonald story sources, and other Chicago news
* Chicago’s only brewery-distillery gets into the bar business with Maplewood Lounge
* Ayako Kato's three-month movement workshop Art of Now III culminates with an experimental performance concert
* Chicago music-scene photographer Tim Nagle talks about his first book, Take It Outside
* CAPS Meeting For Beat 1914 This Evening

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* [Deal] Grab the TicHome Mini Smart Speaker with Google Assistant for just $48
* SoundCloud Debuts New Home Experience Focusing on Personalized Music Curation
* Asus ZenWatch 2 starts at $70 for limited time, one model includes gift valued at $70
* Huawei reportedly announcing partnerships with AT&T and Verizon at CES 2018
* Apple Now Offering Free Next-Day Delivery of Last-Minute Holiday Gifts
* Samsung will probably lose some 2018 smartphone market share, unlike Apple or Huawei
* [Deal] Save 50% on this OnePlus Winter Holiday Gift Bundle

* Rodon on schedule after shoulder surgery
* White Sox may be busy during Rule 5 Draft
* Winter Meetings Day 2: Rick Renteria’s first chance at a second year
* SHOP SALE: Take 25-50% off sitewide
* Renteria full of praise for Sox prospect Robert
* White Sox not ready to deal youth just yet
* Winter Meetings interview with Rick Renteria

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
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


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

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