The AP takes a look at each of the 28 state-job applicants who allegedly received special treatment from Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey and finds a whole bunch of holes in the administration’s case. Here are just a few of them, but go check out the entire list:
1. Ascaridis, Beverly, 56, Chicago, applied for Senior Public Service Administrator on 4/12/04: Resubmitted application doesn’t appear on Casey’s log, so it’s unclear how the government believes Casey or DeFraties knew about it or intervened improperly; never promoted to SPSA; now a public service administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. News reports in September revealed that Ascaridis got the job shortly after her husband, a lifelong Blagojevich friend, gave a $1,500 gift to one of the governor’s daughters.
2. Baksys, Mary, applied for Public Service Administrator on 11/29/04: Never appears on Casey’s log, never hired. […]
8. Dirksen, Julie, 64, Springfield, SPSA, 2/4/04: Initial application marked “incomplete;” awarded a job exempt from all hiring rules, so never needed CMS evaluation; now an SPSA for the Historic Preservation Agency.
It’s amazing that they’re trying to make those two take the fall for Beverly Ascaridis. Beyond chutzpah.
Along those same “beyond chutzpah” lines, the administration is asking that the Civil Service Commission pay no attention to the man behind the curtain:
An attorney for the Blagojevich administration said Monday that the case against Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey should focus on what they did, not on what others in state government might have done, to promote certain people for state jobs.
“This is really about the conduct of Dawn DeFraties and Michael Casey,” said attorney Joseph Gagliardo in opening statements at a Civil Service Commission hearing where the two fired workers are trying to get reinstated.
“Any attempt to blame others for their misconduct does nothing to mitigate their responsibility.”
The defendants’ attorney claims they did nothing wrong, which may be a bit of a stretch.
Carl Draper, attorney for DeFraties and Casey, said the administration lacks “proof that anybody got any favorable treatment.”
Draper has suggested DeFraties and Casey are scapegoats of an administration engulfed in a federal hiring scandal. U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said last year that serious allegations about hiring problems exist throughout the Blagojevich administration.
Draper said no rules or laws prohibited DeFraties’ and Casey’s actions. He added that administration officials asked for applicants to be graded ahead of time to fill some positions quickly and that they acted in ways similar to members of prior administrations.
Even so, Marc Longmeyer, a grading supervisor under DeFraties, said some applications coming directly from the offices of DeFraties and Casey were graded and placed on an online database ahead of other applicants.