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Ace in the hole

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

As I’ve said before, the governor desperately needs to win the Civil Service Commission case against Dawn DeFraties so he can claim that he’s been vindicated of allegations of patronage abuse and pin the whole blame on the whistleblower. Apparently, the guv had an ace in the hole.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed his children’s baby sitter to a $21,507-a-year post on a panel that resolves state hiring disputes. […]

As a member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission, Bukraba soon could be asked to rule in a key case centering on accusations of political clout being used to fix hiring for state jobs.

Given the close relationship between Bukraba and the Blagojevich family, government watchdog groups question whether she might have a natural bias in favor of the Blagojevich administration.

“If I were appearing in front of the commission, yeah, I’d be concerned about her being on that panel deciding my fate,” said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. “(Bukraba) is not a stranger to the governor, some Democrat who had relevant experience, as those appointments are typically made.”

I think I read about this first in a comment posted here several days ago. I kinda sped by it and, stupid me, didn’t follow up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 8:15 am:

    Not surprised at all, yet the mindless democrats in this state still believe this guy makes no mistakes….

  2. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 8:20 am:

    Ol’ Blah-Blah must be pretty damned desperate to name his BABY SITTER to that panel. Who’s next? His father-in-law? Oops. Sorry.

  3. - Still Anon - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 8:47 am:

    Do the rules permit a motion for recusal?

  4. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:02 am:

    You have got to be kidding? U can hear the spin now, “even though she was a babysitter she is extremely qualified for the position.”

    Does she need to be confirmed by the Senate?

  5. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:11 am:

    The deck is definitely stacked against Dawn. But I give her attorney, Carl Draper, a lot of credit for being smarter than GoverNOT Hairdo and his Civil Service Commission board.

  6. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:19 am:

    I don’t care what she did for Blagojevich. The fact she sits on this panel at this time and has this kind of relationship with the governor is simply inexcusable.

  7. - moderate - half way between crazy and crazy. - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:32 am:

    how is this legal?

  8. - Justice - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 9:44 am:

    I swear I misread your title. At first I thought it was an adjective, but knew profanity wasn’t allowed. However, it would have covered my sentiments.

  9. - Walking Wounded - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:22 am:

    In this matter, anyone with a sense of ethics and fairness would recuse themselves from hearing the case. Of course, I don’t expect that to happen.

  10. - DOWNSTATE - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:25 am:

    There is still the federal investigation or does it go away to.

  11. - Bill - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:37 am:

    Another excellent appointment by Rod. It is about time that we open up government to the real people and get away from the same old insiders who move from position to position and take care of each other without regard for party affiliation or the common good.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:47 am:


    Any credibility that you MAY have had is now officially gone. Appointing your babysitter is not opening up government. It’s using taxpayer dollars to subsidize free babysitting.

  13. - Rodney Reformer - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 12:04 pm:

    The deck is definitely stacked against Dawn. But I give her attorney, Carl Draper, a lot of credit for being smarter than GoverNOT Hairdo and his Civil Service Commission board.

  14. - Buck Flagojevich - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 1:57 pm:

    Just when you think Blago’s actions can’t get any more absurd, he cranks up the level of sillyness another notch.

  15. - chinman - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 2:04 pm:

    hopefully she doesn’t use the kids as a shield.

  16. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 4:05 pm:

    A new low for GoverNOT Hairdo.

  17. - anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 5:01 pm:

    To state workers this is a very important commission hopefully comprised of fair minded, learned people, not a bunch of puppets. How does a babysitter qualify for such a highly important role in administering the personnel code, changing the code, hearing employee grievances and determining exempt positions? Oops, I see, when appointed in 2003 she had just retired from the Cook County Circuit Clerk’s office where she was responsible for employee relations, everything from testing to retirement planning, according to her bio. So now in retirement, she attends a meeting 1x monthly, that’s $1792 for a day a month plus expenses. I’d say the deck is clearly stacked against the employees and always in favor of the administration. I’d be willing to do the gov a favor and babysit for this kind of extra income in retirement. Wonder what her position has been on important commission decisions - goes with the flow?

  18. - chinman - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 5:39 pm:

    what is known about the other members? are they ringers also?

  19. - Rex - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 5:49 pm:

    Bukraba must be the Rutan Exempt rubber stamper approver for the Gooberner. The commission has totally lost all credibility. Bukraba should be removed immediately. DeFraties deserves to have an equal playing field. I don’t know her, but it takes courage to whistle blow on this administration. From what I understand, DeFraties tried to do things right - but was told otherwise.

    What a joke - the Gooberner’s babysitter. Next thing you know it will be Patty Blago’s hair dresser as Filan’s “head” budget assistant.

  20. - anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 6:33 pm:

    chinman - here’s a synopsis of the other 4 commission members. One is a fornmer political aide to M. Madigan who graduated from law school in 1998 and was appointed to the commission in 2004; another is an attorney who has practiced law for over 50 years, is a former state rep., and has been an advisor to Mosely Braun and J. Stroger; a veterinarian who serves on many boards and committees; and one who has in the past served on a state university board of trustees including bargaining with the union on behalf of the university, has been elected to the state central committee and is involved in numerous special political projects. This is info included in the other four members bios.

  21. - state worker - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 8:47 pm:

    I can’t stop laughing, is this for real? I can’t wait until I get to work tomorrow (state agency) and pass this one around. The babysitter needs to step down on this case. There is no way she can be impartial (unless she was underpaid or didn’t get a Christmas bonus from the Blagojevich’s).

  22. - anonymous again - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:02 pm:

    who appointed richards, ewell and Peterson

  23. - anonymous again - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:29 pm:

    come on you know say it

  24. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 10:53 pm:

    So Blagojevich is supposed to be the first Governor in Illinois history to put people who AREN’T his allies on a Board? A new system would be great, no question, but it’s hypocritical beyond believe to attack Blago without pointing out he’s doing just what the Repubs who came before him did.

    Frankly this “babysitter” sounds more qualified for her Board than most appointees have been historically in Illinois. And how is being someone’s babysitter any more suspect than a Governor who picks and old fishing or golf buddy, or a old partner from business or state government? Sounds less bad actually.

  25. - anonymous again - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 11:21 pm:

    They still wont tell us who appointed richards, ewell and petersen i have a couple of good clues

  26. - El Conquistador - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 11:23 pm:

    Anon 10:53, you’re missing the point completely. A major decision is soon to be handed down by this commission that could implicate the Governor and his office in hiring illegalities or indicate his innocence… in an election year involving a very serious issue that the Feds are investigating.

    The commission is made up of Governor appointees… This is many orders of magnitude worse than appointing an associate to a position that will have no ability to make a ruling as to the Governor’s guilt or innocence. Much less the appointee being his babysitter…

    This commission and any ruling they make will be a joke.

  27. - anonymous again - Wednesday, Aug 30, 06 @ 11:27 pm:

    no you guys are doing your in the hole thinking i dont think are current gov appointed these three so who did the rs you are really missing the point if the current gov appointed these two that means they replaced two that an r gov had appointed as well as the other three what chance did any d have 5 yrs ago admit it none

  28. - state worker - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:37 am:

    Anon 10:53, you said it yourself: “……. he’s doing just what the Repubs who came before him did.” REMEMBER, ‘no more business as usual’!!! He rallied on this pledge and a lot of voters believed him. What the voters got was ‘business as usual’

  29. - The Hand That Rocks The Cradle - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 7:20 am:


    To Anonymous Again:

    Wipe that Kool-Aid-O-Vich drinking mustache off your face. I’m willing to bet that during the last Republican administration no case as potentially damning to a sitting Governor as the Dawn DeFraties case has came along. Let us not forget that the judge on this now “Civil Dis-Service Commission” removed himself for ties to the Guv that weren’t as close as Ms. Bukraba.

    I wonder how many issues this commission has ruled on where her vote could have been the swing vote? I say that anyone who had a case tried by this commission would be totally justified in getting a lawyer to have their case appealed.

    This, along with numerous other, allegations against this administration screams for a Federal investigation.

    Oh yeah, if Ms. Bakruba were really doing her job she would have been at the State Fair watching the children and saved the Guv and his wife a whole lot of grief.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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