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Bad news for IDOT leaders - Updated x1

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2006

[Bumped up because it was posted so late yesterday.]

Have a look at this. [pdf file - fixed link] IDOT Secretary Tim Martin and two of his deputies appear to be royally screwed.

Martin, Mike Stout and Scott Doubet were sued by several former IDOT employees who claimed their firings were politically motivated.

“During the first months of tenure as governor, Rod Blagojevich publicly announced plans to fire employees that he associated with high-ranking members of the prior Republican administration on allegations that they participated in personnel transactions that would protect their continued employment,” states the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

It also says that Blagojevich directed the hiring of people on contract “for the purpose of identifying employees in State agencies that could be targeted for firing based on alleged affiliation” with the administration of former GOP Gov. George Ryan.

The attorney general originally appointed Jenner & Block to handle the case, but J&B backed out and IDOT’s top lawyer ordered the firm not to turn over any documents to AG Lisa Madigan’s office.

The dispute went to court, and a judge ruled today in favor of Lisa Madigan, ordering J&B to turn over the files.

This is a lose-lose-lose for the defendants, who claimed that Madigan wasn’t representing their best interests. That’s pretty obviously happening, as Madigan appears to be representing the state’s best interests and not necessarily the three individual defendants. They have complained bitterly of this in various pleadings.

[As I just wrote in comments, it seems clear to me that Madigan believes or at least suspects that the defendants acted outside the scope of their employment or she wouldnt have done things like order three IDOT employees to turn over subpoenas and threaten them with contempt of court against the defendants’ wishes.]

[Parenthetical update: I just lost half this post after attempting to update on my Treo. From here on out is a recreation.]

The judge also ruled that they could not hire their own attorney unless they gave up indemnification, which isn’t much of a choice.

The Defendants, in their individual capacities, may always forego indemnification by the state and hire their own attorneys to represent them. If they do so, the Attorney General will still represent them in their official capacities since those claims are against the state of Illinois.

And in a final blow, the judge ruled that Mary Lee Leahy had to answer questions and was not protected by attorney client privilege. The plaintiffs and AG Madigan wanted Leahy to be deposed (which gives you another idea where Madigan is going with this.) Leahy had advised the governor’s office after Blagojevich was sworn in, and had met with top IDOT officials, apparently about the case in question.

Thus, the dispute about Leahy’s deposition is, once again, a strategic one about how to conduct the defense. The Defendants consented to the Attorney General conducting the defense and agreed to cooperate. The Defendants, therefore, gave the Attorney General the authority to make these types of strategic decisions. Again, the Defendants do not assert that the substance of Leahy’s testimony will be adverse to their interests. The Attorney General’s strategic decision to let Leahy be deposed, therefore, is not adverse to them and, so, does not create a conflict of interest between the Attorney General and them.

The Sun-Times wrote about this back in May in a story entitled “Gov muzzles his clout-buster.”

At his first press conference as governor, Rod Blagojevich announced he was bringing in a clout-busting lawyer to help take politics out of state hiring. But now the governor doesn’t want her talking about what she did. His lawyers are keeping attorney Mary Lee Leahy from answering questions about whether 17 state employees were bounced in 2004 because of their political ties. […]

Attorneys for the laid-off workers say the administration is muzzling Leahy because it broke rules designed to make sure politics is not a factor in the overwhelming majority of state jobs. The federal government has been investigating state hiring since last fall, when a wave of subpoenas hit the administration.

UPDATE: The AP has a story up now. Not much different than what I have posted, but go see it for yourself.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - William - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:00 pm:

    Rich, I don’t understand why the state’s interest is not the defendants’s interest, unless the defendants were acting outside the scope of their employment.

    Was this the case?

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:08 pm:

    William, it seems clear to me that Madigan believes that the defendants did act “outside the scope of their employment” or she wouldn’t have done things like order three IDOT employees to turn over subpoenaed documents and then threaten them with contempt of court even though Martin et al objected to the plaintiffs’ subpoena.

  3. - William - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:12 pm:

    Rich, thanks.

  4. - NumbersGuy - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:23 pm:

    Rich, the link to the .pdf above is not working, at least on my machine. (Specifically, it’s dead.)Anyone else having this problem?

    ###Rich sez: I think it’s fixed now. On my mobile so I can’t easily check.###

  5. - Toxman - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:30 pm:

    Wow! I’ve become kind of numb from most of these other stories, but this one looks like the beginning of something. I can’t wait to hear what Ms. Leahy has to say. If Blago’s camp wanted her muzzled, then she must have some goods. I am sure she is really happy about the way she has been treated by this group also - as everyone else has been.

  6. - Justice - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:34 pm:

    Honk, Honk, Honk!!!!!!!!! Sounds like a bus to me!!!! Well it’s about time the good guys get a break. I suspect a lot of the gang of 10 (or so) are going to be calling in sick…..BECAUSE THEY ARE, probably throwing up in their shoes, and will start running like weasels trying to get away from the talons of justice. It’s bad enough to go to prison, but to go to prison broke after a long legal battle…..dang!!

  7. - Bubs - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:40 pm:

    Are others getting the impression that Speaker Madigan, A.G. Madigan and the Mayor will cry rivers of crocodile tears if Blago loses, notwithstanding the Speaker’s high profile in the Blago campagn?

    Lo, do I hear the soft footsteps of The Red Fox?

  8. - what wacko's - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:50 pm:

    How is Stout and Doubet holding on to their jobs? They are both still running the show from what I understand. IF there was any truth to these allegations at all, you think they would have gotten rid of them, just like the did with Mullet(?)

  9. - Downtown - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:51 pm:

    They’ll probably only go to prison for a year and a day, anyway.

  10. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:52 pm:

    IDOT loses, as predicted.

    Anyone want to bet that IDOT was directing J&B to take courses of action that would’ve gotten the firm itself into deep dog doo, or “rat caviar” as Alderman Burt Natarus would say, and that’s the reason J&B wanted out?

  11. - Huh? - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 6:55 pm:

    Rich - As of 6:55 the link to the pdf is still out.

  12. - chinman - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 7:00 pm:

    thump, thump, thump
    what about robert millette and robin black?

  13. - NumbersGuy - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 7:23 pm:

    The link works now. Interesting reading indeed.

  14. - Ghost Buster - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 7:26 pm:

    Rich, I just heard that the judge in the case that was dealing with whether Mary Leahy could testify about going ons when she worked for Rod had ruled that she can give her testimony!! This should be interesting!!!

  15. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 7:31 pm:

    Um, Ghost, did you not read the above post?

  16. - Troy News Guy - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 8:30 pm:

    I can hear the squirming all the way down here in area code 618! Ask not for whom the bell tolls…..

    Quinn for Governor!

  17. - Squideshi - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 8:41 pm:

    Quinn for Governor? Rich Whitney for Governor!

    Speaking of the Whitney campaign, Rich, have you heard about Gov. Cluck-o-vich the Democracy Chicken?

  18. - Macoupin County - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 8:43 pm:

    I hope Martin, Stout and Doubet all get escorted out the door!

  19. - politicaljunkie - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 8:48 pm:

    Tip of the iceberg, folks!!!!!!

  20. - IDOT PRO - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 9:28 pm:

    I do not recall His Highness Martin bringing this little issue of a lawsuit up at his recent lecture on IDOT’s strategic planning for 2007.
    Perhaps he should start cleaning out his desk and plan on some extra time for his visits to Federal Court.

  21. - Silent Budgeteer - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 9:37 pm:

    This could get really interesting, especially with Mary Lee Leahy and her upcoming presentation at the Sangamo Club in Springfield. If I remember correctly (I don’t have the flyer in front of me), her presentation is supposed to be on the Rutan decision, discussing its past, its present and its future. I know Mary Lee’s history with Rutan, but this may bring her to a different perspective. Could be an interesting lunch time presentation…

  22. - happy camper - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 9:47 pm:

    I hope they are royally screwed. Those fools are still making all kinds of questionable decisions within the agency. I agree…just the tip of it all. If that’s really Leahy’s topic, I’d love to be a fly on the wall (because I certainly wouldn’t be attending any luncheons at the Sangamo Club). Also, why didn’t the employees name Millette the mastermind of the material reorganization in the suit? Good day.

  23. - Gregor - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    We can probably expect the Illinois Channel to cover it, tape-delayed and re-broadcast on cable. They should, have in the past.

  24. - Nick - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 10:48 pm:

    No indictments before the election means Blago wins Gov Office again. Those putting your eggs in the Fed basket will see every state office in the blue in mid-November.

  25. - chinman - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 10:53 pm:

    I hate the sangamo club nearly as much as those bobolink screwballs. narrow minds think alike.
    Mary lee has the potential to make this alot bigger deal. She gets published when it comes to this subject. She also needs to feel important. it has been a while since she got any bigtime press, So watch out uncle timmy, mikey and scotty boy she may make you famous. say rutan ten times slow.

  26. - El Conquistador - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 11:03 pm:

    I understand much more yet to come in Sept/Oct. Can you say karma?

  27. - values matter - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 11:37 pm:

    Irv Smith’s daughte? Scaife? That list reads like a who’s who of GOP political hacks’ kids and donors. They all got their jobs through hackism, through politics pure and simple, yet they don’t have the character and backbone to accept politics. What a bunch of hypocrites they are. They were at the trough all the years I lived in Springfield, at the taxpayers trough with political jobs. Now all they can do is whine and file lawsuits. I’ve never seen such hypocrisy and poor losers.

  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 11:42 pm:

    That’s an excellent point, VM.

  29. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:43 am:

    Chinman, the Sangamo Club surely is not the problem here. Here’s betting Leahy cancels her talk that day.

    VM -

    Whatever those people did was approved by the bipartisan panel called JCAR-Joint Commission on Administrative Rules. VM, bipartisan means BOTH Democrats and Republicans. Sounds like you will be unable to spread the hypcrisy around to EVERYONE who deserves the label.

  30. - Concern Citizen - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:46 am:

    Napa, Napa,Napa contracts don’t nap on this one. It will bring down the house

  31. - Leroy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:47 am:

    So let me get this straight…we gave a government agency a public mandate, all the power they needed, a huge and steady revenue stream (that they can increase pretty much at will), and they use it for political purposes?

    I am shocked…SHOCKED!

  32. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:40 am:

    Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the Defendents hired Moran to represent them? Check out what law firm he is a partner in.

  33. - Whoa!!!!!! - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:03 am:

    To Values Matter, re-read the list not ALL the plantiffs in the lawsuits are political hacks! Some may be but most are not.

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:08 am:

    One more reason Blago gets 4 more years. I think people are pretty sick and tired of these whiny Repubs who got their jobs via politics under Repub Governors, crying because Blago is hiring people via politics.

    A pox on both their houses. The corruption issue is a wash this year with 2 candidates who are about equally dirty. In a Blue State that means the Dem wins.

  35. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    It would be interesting to hear Ms. Leahy on Rutan because of her history in helping bring it about. Does she think it is really working. It seems that it isn’t. Clearly, there are problems with implementation (such as the intern loophole and the temporary worker loophole),but federal investigations and indictments are an expensive and clunky way to deal with implementation problems.

    There is also the problem of our feckless and corrupt legislators who, like the Chicago aldermen re Shakman, really don’t want to see an improvement in the implementation of Rutan since that would make it more difficult for them to hire their relatives and to pay their campaign workers and contributors with state jobs. When Daley proposed turning hiring over to an independent bureau, the aldermen protested mightily (that’s probably why he proposed it).
    We aren’t going to get any help from our legislators in this particular area of state government corruption.

  36. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:58 am:

    Anon 8:08, the difference is that investigators are interested in this Governor’s practices. If he had followed the Edgar book on Rutan, he would have been fine. His problem was that he followed the Ryan book and took it a spiteful step further by illegally firing people. And after he promised to clean it up.

    Everyone is aware that the swing voters in this election don’t know enough to oust this governor when even honest Democrats know he should be. But its dissapointing that regular Democrats would be happy to have him back if it means keeping all the slots blue. I never thought I would say it but thank God for the Madigans. I think they knew early on what a mistake this Governor was for the state. And say what you will about them, they do seem to be putting the state ahead of politics. Yes, I know it will help Lisa too but pushing an incompetent and corrupt Governor out the door deserves credit from all.

    And admittedly the issue that will send him home is not the biggest reason he is a terrible Governor. The reason he has been a terrible Governor is what he has done to the long term fiscal stability of this state. All of our kids will have to pay for those mistakes.

  37. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:05 am:

    The problem with both sides is that Blago’s campaign promise to end corruption and fix state government died the night he was elected. The Dems couldn’t wait to be hired and placed in top spots and the Republicans couldn’t wait to complain and act offended that the Dems were running the show. And what has happened since? Exactly what I just posted. We went through years of bloated government and cronyism only to experience the same thing from the other side of the aisle.

    The easiest way to fix all of these issues is to have a true reformer come into the position of Senate President or House Speaker or gubernatorial chief of staff. Even a couple of reform-minded agency chiefs would be welcome if it meant hiring and firing based on merit and performance. Or we need an actual commission within state government that would clean up the mess, and CMS or any inspector general doesn’t cut it.

  38. - wow - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:34 am:

    It is Illinois. Politics are played this way. If by some election day super upset the Republicans gain back the Governor’s position; don’t you think they won’t dump Democratic workers?
    to the victor goes the spoils

  39. - Illinois Channel - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:35 am:

    To all of Rich’s readers, and as Gregor presumed, YES the Illinois Channel will be covering Mary Leahy’s presentation on the Rutan decision on Sept. 19th, at the Sangamo Club. It will air during the week of Sept 24, on the IC Network, as well as being video-streamed on our website,

  40. - Anon - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 12:26 pm:

    The problem anon 8:00 is that investigators are looking at THIS Governor. Unlike swing voters they won’t go for the “its really the Republican’s fault” line when they find laws were broken. If Blagojavich had followed the Edgar book on Rutan he would have been fine. The problem is he followed the Ryan book and took it a spiteful step further by firing people. And this after promising Illinoisians that he would clean it up.

    Because Democrats desparate not to lose power after just 4 years will back their incumbant, even if he is corrupt, and swing voters are too illiterate to understand how bad this Governor is, it will take an indictment (or a lot of headlines heading that direction) to send him on his way. Very disturbing! I never thought I would say this but thank God Madigan for putting Illinois first and being clever enough to come up with the plan.

  41. - BigBob - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 1:18 pm:

    Mary Lee has fought the Rutan fight for many years. It brought her both reputation and income. It was a big deal when she began working with the Blagojevich Administration. When she was dumped only a short time later, nobody seemed to notice.

    If we find she was dumped for actually trying to make sure Blagojevich complied with Rutan, then we’ll know her past really was about the principals involved in Rutan, not democratic payback to Republicans by a rejected Walker nominee.

    If we find she supported the firings, then we’ll know it wasn’t.

    Wow. This is the best issue yet. Regardless of the Blago/IDOT intrigue, seems to me Mary Lee’s reputation is on the line.

  42. - NumbersGuy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 2:47 pm:

    FYI, friends, the event Mary Lee is speaking at next month at the Sangamo Club is open to anyone with the price of admission. (Unless it’s already sold out.)

    BTW, I would hardly put Sangamo and Bob-O-Link in the same category of private clubs. If Sangamo took NumbersGuy as a member, they can’t be too exclusive.

  43. - disgusted - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 5:06 pm:

    To values matter - Monday, Aug 28, 06 @ 11:37 pm, you have made a true and interesting point, and I agree with you 100%. Blago has made many, many, many mistakes and one was when he pointed out that no employee would lose their job based on political affiliations. Yet, he did exactly the opposite of what he stated. Just for the record, I supported this Governor because I believed the spew of lies that came out of his mouth and I was disgusted with the games Ryan played. Well guess what, its Ryan (only worse) with a different face on his body.

  44. - Big W - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 5:20 pm:

    Well the way I see it may not be the way you all see it, However, I have worked in State Gov. for years, and ther is a certain amount (alot) of pay to play as in all politics, I have worked for years, underline years, beside Repubs and Dems….But when this Administration came to power,,,,the Repubs were either gone or moved or demoted……Dems were hired under the Repub reign…..No Repubs are being hired under the Dem reign…..and there is a problem here, just go to the DOT, Public Aid, or the DNR and try to get any answers…..You Can’t,,,,,,they just don’t know how to run the depts…….ask any Legislator or an aid to the Legislator and they can tell you NO-one knows anything! We definately need a change….a reformer that will hire people who deserve the job not just because they or thier family gave them Money….it’s just a shame!!!!

  45. - anonymous again - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:05 pm:

    Big W pass me the joint if thats what you are smoking i have also worked at a large agency for years and if you can identify morre than fifty dem out of 6000(IDOT) you shoul play the big lotto you guys lost get over it how many dems have worked for JBT the last 4 years probably cant fit them all in here can you thats were you guys loose the public you say stuff that absolutely no one buys keep it up its the best help we can get now

  46. - anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:37 pm:

    big w–which state government have you worked for for years? because I’ve worked in Illinois and I think that’s just crazy talk. very few dems hired and if you were a dem you were advised to put a sock in your mouth rather than talk politics. and these poor suffering Repubs under current administration? you need to take another survey because survey says–still lots of Republicans

  47. - roadkill - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:57 pm:

    I can’t wait to see the dirt that comes out of IDOT in this case and the federal hiring probe. Several highly qualified transportation professionals left the agency during the last three years because they didn’t want to be accused of breaking the law or going along with any of the political shenanigans of the clowns who are now in charge.

    We’re all paying the price for the blunders that Martin and company have made. Everything was political under Ryan, but he looks like a petty thief compared to what the Blago boys are trying to get away with.

  48. - IDOT'er - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 6:57 pm:

    There are some Repub holdovers at IDOT (mostly Highway Maintainers), however most employees are apolitical, especially the technical staff. 50 Dems at IDOT should be easy to spot, falling down. 9 Districts each with an Admin Manager and 2 or 3 politically-connected administrative assistants and liaisons (many more in District 1). Any employee or official of Bureau of Traffic Safety hired after 2002. The staff of External Affairs or whatever it is called now. 5 or 10 assistant secretaries of Transportation, their toadys, and Mr. Martin himself. Am I to 50 yet?

  49. - Future Lottery Winner - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:02 pm:

    Hang on Topinka, I’m about to win the Lottery!

  50. - Ghost Buster - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:15 pm:

    um yes I did read the post but it had no mention of leahey on my computer. must of has somthing to do with your post?

  51. - Rex - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:42 pm:

    I can hardly wait until Moe, Larry, and Curly get their termination letter…your services are no longer needed. I hope every word is shoved right down their throats.

  52. - anonymous again - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 7:49 pm:

    IDOTer so let me get this the current admin was suppose to keep all the double exempt employees from the convicted ryan administration? Doesn’t sound right does it you lost get over it. How many dems work for JBT?

  53. - Budget Watcher - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:11 pm:

    Winning an election doesn’t exempt anyone from obeying our laws. If no laws were broken, then the administration and the defendents win and we all move on… otherwise, this could be entertaining to watch.

  54. - Concern Citizen - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:24 pm:

    When are we as taxpayers say enough is enough whether Dem or Republican. Our taxs are rising, no money for schools, afforable housing, teachers ect. ect. and we have Tim Martin and his merry deputies bleeding the State dry

  55. - El Conquistador - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:34 pm:

    I am not partisan in any way. Look people… of all the agencies truly screwed up under this administration, IDOT’s right up there with DNR and Prof. Regulation. These agencies’ demise wasn’t the result of placing competent people in responsible positions… it’s been a ridiculous and complete joke. Time to rid ourselves of the maroons and move forward. The experiment is over.

    While some of you may doubt JBT, she’s a straight shooter and exactly what the state needs to stop the disintegration of state gov’t, its financial standing and the services it offers.

    Or, we can re-elect a goofball that will be indicted along with many of his admin. in the next year or so. Wake up. There’s a reality after Nov. And Blago cannot escape it regardless of campaign finances. What do people actually think is going to happen with this guy and his cronies after Nov.? That it’s all going to go away???

    Try focusing on next year and think about what you want in state gov’t.

  56. - Link - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:55 pm:

    anono this, anon that, anon again, whatever!

    We have seen nothing but relatives or ole buddies hired at our agency and they are Democrats. However, we can still think of at least one husband-wife team who still have jobs (albeit elsewhere in the agency) after their terms were up and they are Republican. But their support is primarily local family…

    For the most part, there are a considerable number of college buddies, childhood friends and the like of our new “leaders” who are making beaucop dinero - way beyond what they made prior to working for the state. And they ALL came in with this administration.

    Heaven help us when we have real disaster on our hands - natural or otherwise - because the new staff do not know what to do and keep their long-term staff out of the loop.

  57. - IDOT Retired - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 8:56 pm:

    When I left IDOT, it was a highly professional agency despite the political hires. This Governor seems determined to turn it into the most inept organization ever and may have already attained that goal. What a shame. The people of Illinois are being cheated and someone needs to answer.

  58. - NumbersGuy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 9:19 pm:

    Folks, Big W is spot on. Lack of time and and a desire not to embarrass good people cause me not to name names, but in my nearly 30 years in town, every Rupublican administration helped the Dems. At one time, I had the County Chair’s kid as a secretary, a Dem state officeholder’s best friend as a division head, a Dem senator’s top “ground guy” in his district in a big field spot and the list goes on. They all did their jobs and were well respected in our department.
    In a subsequent position, the people and jobs were different but the Dem representation in the agency was about the same. (This was all under Thompson and Edgar.) Many old timers can recall the Dems who had a number of people in State jobs, from Howie Carroll a ways back to Jimmy DeLeo and Gary Hannig more recently.

    I’m blessedly removed from all of that now, but my sense is that the Blago folks haven’t broadly returned the favor. (the exceptions I’m aware of would really p*** off most local R’s.)

    What remains to be seen at IDOT, and several other places apparently, is twofold. Did the agencies violate Rutan and target Republicans for layoff? Moreover, not that the latter is exactly jaywalking, did they compromise the agencies’ missions and services to the public as they “reformed and renewed?” Well, the jury is out, so to speak, and it appears the Cap Fax jury would for the most part vote to hang em high.

  59. - Skarfeld - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:16 pm:

    I sat at the Springfield YMCA many a morning when Irv Smith held court in the sauna and all I can say to you Numbers Guy is that if you don’t believe Irv Smith was viciously partisan then all you’re doing is blowing smoke up your skirt. Irv was one vicious dude if you were a Democrat in his line of sight.

    If he knew one got hired and got by him it was goodbye baby. Tell me it ain’t so.

  60. - IDOT Retired - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    Violating Rutan and targeting the opposite party for jobs/layoff is jaywalking. Political favors have always been a way of life (business as usual) in this state and most of us can accept that. Ryan stood in front of the press like a puppy dog proud of the mischief he had done. The current non-resident of the mansion has taken self-serving politics to a new level and vigorously hides from the media. If Ryan’s behavior was criminal then this administration’s is far worse…if that is possible.

    Compromising the mission does not begin to describe what this group has done. Look at the professionals who are leaving and the new hires set to take their place. More with less has been reversed and the “big picture” is now just a snapshot.

  61. - Skarfeld - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 10:55 pm:

    I would HATE to be a Republican in an exempt position who was kept by this administration if the Red gal wins. I won’t mention names either but there are some disbursed throughout state government, namely DNR, DCEO, AGR and on and on. They cut deals to keep their jobs and word is Irv and Tony plan some pretty hefty payback if Judy should win.

    As for my democrats who are exempt, I guarantee you we will go out with grace and our heads held high–not whining and crying about our treatment.

    As for this argument about “professionals”, I found that word was the most overused word by Republicans who had become “professionals” by going from janitors to inventory supervisors to assistant directors, etc. etc. They learned to be professional by getting bumped up the political ladder by their commmitteeman and by Irv.

    It wasn’t that they were born that way, folks. If you give 10 Dems the same opportunities these Repubs have had they, too, would become “professionals”.

  62. - IDOT'er - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:17 pm:

    Anon again 7:49-

    FYI I was hired during the Walker admin. by the assistant District Engineer who was a Democrat. But the District Engineer was a Republican holdover from the Ogilvie admin. IDOT hired and fired some people according to politics from Walker thru Ryan, but there always seemed to be “party favors” for both parties according to the clout of some sponsoring state or US legislator, and some hires (engineers, technicians, etc.) where qualifications and ability, not politics, were the hiring criteria.

    And BTW, I am an independent who has never done any political work for anyone, and I like it that way.

  63. - NumbersGuy - Tuesday, Aug 29, 06 @ 11:23 pm:

    Skarfish, Irv talked big at the Y and at Doc Adams’ Pancake House, but if the Governor’s Office needed a job to help Howie Carroll for the “greater good”, Irv just got outclouted and that was that. He went on to the next battle, knowing it’s a long war. I had the pleasure of making some of those calls to Irv and his fellow chairmen.

    Irv was definitely savvy enough that he would have counseled a Repub administration not to target a Dem chair’s daughter if the tables were turned.

    But, that was the “old way.”

  64. - Licensed in Illinois - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:06 pm:

    Skarfeld: Professional is a proper and correct term to use for registered engineers, surveyors, landscape architects, architects. You don’t become professional just because you’re promoted. Licensure and the claim to professional status takes accredited education (anywhere from 4 to 6 years), work experience under the supervision of a registered professional and then taking and passing a test (2 days for P.E., 5 days for architects). And those aren’t tests someone who went to Pepperdine and got Cs could pass.

  65. - anonymous again - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:13 pm:

    idoter what would you call the rs at idot that are still in expempt positions if these arent carryovers what are they what about the lower levels below sect mgr how many ds were there dont play dumbyou know they were few and very far between you lost guy get over it you try to justify 20 years of pol hires by claiming professioanlism what about the professional exempt people at idot that took voluntary reductions no interview kept their pay and think they should keep their jobs come on it dont sell but keep trying nobodies buying what your selling

  66. - Bottom Line - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 8:50 am:

    To anon again 10:13pm

    what about the people who DIDN’T take voluntary reductions, had interviews and weren’t highly paid that got laid off? They were just thrown in to make it look better. Martin, Stout and Doubet sacrificed good people to get to those who abused the system so anon….waht about them?!And by the way, have the voluntary reduction rules been changed?! nooooooo because you will probably do the same when your guy is out!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Lotta holes in that backstop, bub
* A few little somethings to lighten your day
* Medical director at hospital near Stateville: "This is a disaster"
* Tribune gonna Tribune
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* Yesterday's stories

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