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Reform and renewal

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006

Part 1 comes from the Tribune:

Following two scolding reviews, Illinois must repay $7.7 million in federal funds because of a litany of problems in running a federal job retraining program.

The program is supposed to match workers with training that will help them find new positions quickly after they have lost their jobs to foreign competition.

But the federal reviews found that Illinois officials seemed to ignore schedules and procedures established to make sure workers were not sitting by idly when they could be in retraining programs.

Reviewers found the state took as long as 16 months to approve training plans. Files lacked basic information, such as workers’ educational backgrounds and previous job duties, according to the reports.

And Part 2 is from the Sun-Times:

Pink slips have been handed to two East Coast law firms that made hefty political donations to Gov. Blagojevich and were placed on a preferred list for Illinois pension work.

This month’s vote by the state Teachers’ Retirement System to overhaul the way it hires lawyers for class-action cases followed a Chicago Sun-Times report in September.

That story detailed how federal authorities have been probing Blagojevich’s visits with the two firms during trips to New York in 2003. It also said Blagojevich’s interaction with a third law firm once employed by TRS also is under federal scrutiny. […]

Nonetheless, “We believe that all of our vendor selections should be made strictly on the basis of merit and suitability for the particular work assignment,” said Jon Bauman, TRS’ executive director. “In this particular situation, the campaign contributions … had the effect of placing a cloud over a number of the firms that were eventually selected.”

Bauman, however, stressed that the contributions were not the only factor in the TRS board’s decision to dismantle the preferred list, which also included three law firms not connected to the governor’s New York trips. The fact that none of the firms had brought a successful class-action case on behalf of TRS in three years weighed heavily, he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - He Makes Ryan look like a saint - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 2:13 pm:

    Losing 7.7 mil shows how bringing in “business” people does not necessarily make them good at running Government. But the citizens have spoken and now the 7.7 will come out of thier pocketbooks.

  2. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 4:58 pm:

    The problems with the state-run training programs using federal funds are typical of
    sloppy management under the patronage-ridden
    Blagojevich administration.

    Delayed training plans and incomplete files suggest state civil servants who are not required to do much for their paychecks supervised by managers whose allegiance is to
    the political arm of the governor’s office and not to quality of service.

  3. - Buck Flagojevich - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 5:51 pm:


    The Federal funds used for the job training program have been used by Illinois for many, many years. Many, many years of NO problems until Blago and his band of merry idiots came into power. The funds are managed primarily by a program that is housed in DCEO with DCEO oversight. It has been in that agency for well over a decade and this is the first time it has been royally screwed up. Leave it to this gang to do it.

    Isn’t it nice to see the state have to give back almost $8 million to the Feds because the powers at DCEO are incompetent beyond words?

  4. - Bottom Line - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 8:31 pm:

    Let’s not forget the IDOT Traffic Safety Audit, the state lost out on several million dollars in federal reimbursement because the new Blago hacks laid off all the old people in the know but nobody cares!

  5. - Anonymous again - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 10:09 pm:

    Lets just hope one guy at TS gets one of those pink slips, once a rat always a rat if you will rat on the teamsters union without one charge ever being brought you will rat on anyone, even money he blows the gig for all of them when P Fitz hits town, and he is coming to see the rat, by the way guess who was the number one key player in laying off the Traffic Safety people, if you dont know i will give you one clue he is now the dir of ts DAAAAAAAA

  6. - observer - Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 11:14 pm:

    Anon again, you don,t like that guy do you. Us IDOT employees at aero would like to know why his wife gets to go on his IDOT trips at state expense????

  7. - sisk - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 2:02 pm:

    Mike will get what is coming to him. A raise and more jobs for his friends and family. I say this because he should be in jail. With this bunch think the opposite and that’s the way it is.

  8. - Anonymous again - Wednesday, Nov 29, 06 @ 7:29 pm:

    I will bet on the jail or he will rat out his friend in personnell and he will end up in jail in ms place as anon again said if you wil rat on the teamsters you will rat on anyone and he has no friends

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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