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Leave the gun, take the cannoli

Friday, Oct 5, 2012

* Pat Quinn fired Henry Bayer’s wife, Jacqueline Kinnaman

Gov. Pat Quinn, who has faced relentless criticism from state employees’ largest union for withholding pay raises, boosting retiree health-insurance costs and trying to reduce pension benefits, has fired the union president’s wife from a state job as a workers’ compensation arbitrator. […]

Kinnaman, a lawyer who has worked for the state since 1990, had been a full-time arbitrator for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission since 2004. She earned $115,840 a year. Before that, she was a full-time appointed member of the commission’s predecessor, the Illinois Industrial Commission. […]

Kinnaman, who remains unemployed, said Thursday she applied for reappointment. She said she wasn’t told why Quinn chose not to renew her appointment. […]

Bayer and AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall declined to speak with the newspaper about Kinnaman’s firing. But Lindall wrote in an email: “We have no direct knowledge that the failure to reappoint her was retribution for who she is married to. If it was, it is both unethical public policy and a slap in the face to every woman who has worked to achieve her own independent role in public life.” […]

Lindall said in his email: “Jackie Kinnaman has more than 20 years’ experience as a workers compensation commission (member) and arbitrator in a career that predates Mr. Bayer’s directorship at AFSCME. First appointed by Gov. Thompson, Ms. Kinnaman was subsequently reappointed by both Republican and Democratic governors, and recently earned unanimous recommendations for a new term from both business and labor representatives.”

Kinnaman said she is not eligible for state pension benefits or health insurance.

This kind of reminds me of when Rod Blagojevich fired Tim Mapes’ wife. We all know how that one worked out.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

52 Comments
  1. - oneman - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:16 am:

    That is a good way to build trust


  2. - horseracer - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    These aren’t lifetime appointments.


  3. - In the know - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:23 am:

    Reminds me of when Catherine Shannon was fired. I’m sure that has not been forgotten.


  4. - HatTrick - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:28 am:

    What’s Henry going to do? Have labor folks follow the Governor across the country and out of the country? Call him a liar at every opportunity?Insult him while he eats a pork kabob with his ag buddies? Chase him around southern Illinois? Intercept him everywhere he goes? Send letters to the editor across the state bashing his every move?

    Wait a minute . . .


  5. - Fair Share - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:32 am:

    If they are political, i.e., exempt appointments, then so be it. And if anyone would consider retaliating against the Governor, using their official position and authority, because their personal family pecuniary interests have been adversely impacted, then that would be a crime according to the federal government’s view of “honest services”. So Rich, are you implying Tim Mapes engaged in attempted extortion through retaliatiion?


  6. - Irish - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:33 am:

    So this is the transparent Quinn, The people’s governor. The ethics giant. The one that never did get around to “fumigating.” With the record he has in patronage he must have gotten something from those Blago holdovers or they wouldn’t still be around.

    This is nothing short of bullying. Nice example Pat! So you’re nothing like what you would like us to believe you are. You hide behind your tired cliche’s “everybody in no one left out”, and “make the will of the people the law of the land.” But in truth you are just another power hungry, self promoting, politician. Your buddy Rod would be proud of you.


  7. - Cheswick - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:35 am:

    How is it that Quinn became the enemy of labor? Or, was he always and I just didn’t notice?


  8. - AC - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:35 am:

    State ethics training requires avoiding activities which have the appearance of impropriety. Failure to renew an individual who was employed by the state through several different administrations certainly appears to be a retaliatory move, which would seem to me to be prohibited by ethics rules. In any case, this is a PR failure by Quinn, and it certainly appears to be vindictive to the public, regardless of the intent.


  9. - walkinfool - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    Keeping her while some others are not being renewed, could be read as equally bad.

    I hope she lands somewhere good.


  10. - The Captain - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    You can’t go wrong with a good Godfather quote but I was reminded of this one from Casino:

    Because there’s one thing you gotta know about these old timers, they don’t like any ******* around with the other guy’s wives. It’s bad for business.


  11. - state worker - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    She can do the job well for 20 years and now that her husband is holding Gov. Quinn accountable for his lies she’s lost her job? Wow…how petty


  12. - phocion - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    I see Hannig’s fingerprints on this one…


  13. - Clock - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    It’s about time. No one should hold these positions for that long. New blood is a good thing.


  14. - dave - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    **This kind of reminds me of when Rod Blagojevich fired Tim Mapes’ wife. We all know how that one worked out.**

    Yea… except AFSCME doesn’t exactly have the same power as Mapes.


  15. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:43 am:

    Up until two years ago, these jobs were secure positions and Arbitrators could rule on cases without having to look over their shoulders and worry if labor or management would get upset with them and their rulings. Then the great big “Workers’ Compensation” reform was enacted and now Arbitrators are hired for short three year terms and can be replaced for no reason at all. If Labor or Management or both get upset with an Arbitrator, no matter how good of a hearing officer he or she is, too bad. Tough. Your gone.

    Ms. Kinnaman was an excellent Arbitrator and before that, a Commissioner. I don’t care who she was married to, her firing is a loss to the State of Illinois. I can say that as an Attorney who appeared before her on numerous occasions.

    For weeks at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, attorneys who practice there have been speculating why she and another Arbitrator were not reappointed. No answers have been forthcoming.


  16. - Kerfuffle - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:43 am:

    He is not obligated to reappoint anyone in an exempt position but given the fact that she had the support of both business and labor it seems rather obvious that his decision was retributive in nature. The man seems to be picing up more and more of Blago’s worse personality traits.


  17. - COPN - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    “…recently earned unanimous recommendations for a new term from…business…representatives.” Really???


  18. - Burt Rutan - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    Wasn’t Mapes’ wife at ISBE in a technical-type position?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:48 am:

    If you are going to “take care” of all Family business, you better make sure YOU are not finished off yourself.

    You have a GREAT title for this post … so good, off I go to get some Cannoli.


  20. - Irish - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:49 am:

    BTW I caught a short item on Fox the other night. Now I do not ordinarily watch Fox but they had a special on the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority suite at US Cellular field. Apparently they have a skybox where politicians can go and watch a game and eat pretty good on the taxpayers dime. They showed bills that amounted to thousands of dollars. They stated that Rahm’s people have been told to stay away from it but Gov. Quinn has placed no restrictions on his “friends”. Maybe Pat needs Kelly in there to save him a seat. Lol


  21. - Shemp - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 9:51 am:

    Not saying right or wrong, but is not being re-appointed the same as being fired? Not quite in my mind.


  22. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:02 am:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the failure to re-appoint was payback. Politics ain’t beanbag.

    Still, it’s a political appointment at a pretty sweet salary. A lot of people want the gig. There really can’t be an expectation of job security beyond the appointment term when it’s at the discretion of the executive.

    Fair? Maybe not. Shocking? Not so much.


  23. - RetiredStateEmployee - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:17 am:

    ” New blood is a good thing. ” Reminds me of Andrew Jackson who thought there was no government job so difficult that any ordinary American couldn’t do it.

    With the complexity of law and rules, it seems to me that experience should be desired instead of derided. Not that I consider myself irreplaceable, but I know how long it takes to learn all the aspect of state and federal government laws and regulations related to any particular jobs. New blood, especially unqualified (Blago appointments) bring nothing but dysfunction to government. It doesn’t make sense to remove qualified people to replace them with “friends” with no qualifications.


  24. - foster brooks - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:20 am:

    The way the states work comp system is run they all should be fired


  25. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:25 am:

    @wordslinger: “Still, it’s a political appointment at a pretty sweet salary.”

    And the State of Illinois calls that “reform.”


  26. - Observing - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    =Phocion…why bring Hannig into this? He gave and got from AFSCME all his career. They had a good relationship. And this isn’t Hannig’s style.


  27. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    So, assuming there was a non-punitive plan that involved a changing of the guard… should her position been been protected due to her connections?

    The quest for the truth in this matter would seek to learn what was being done at the IWCC. If she was the only one not reappointed, then retribution seems plausible. If there is a larger change, then it becomes harder to claim politics.


  28. - Palos Park Bob - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    I’ve got a real issue appointing the wife of a union boss to this postiion in the first place. Would she have a bias towards the unionized workers appearing before her? Almost certainly.
    Was she the BEST tehnically qualified candidate for this postion? Almost certainly not!

    If the WC arbitrator decisions are anything like the labor arbitrator reports and decisions I’ve read, they’re no more than a corrupt joke.

    $115K for this job? It could probably be filled with more qualified applicants at 2/3rds that number.

    Dirty Politics Patronage Pays in Illinois….as long as you keep “kissing the ring” of the bosses!


  29. - Empty Chair - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    Fired? No. She applied for a job and didn’t get it. Yes, it was a job she previously held. But that’s why you have to re-apply no? Are these reappointments guaranteed?


  30. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:50 am:

    @Plutocrato3: She and one other Arbitrator were fired (not reappointed) on the same day.


  31. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 10:52 am:

    Enough with the semantics arguments. She was booted, no matter how you look at it.


  32. - soccermom - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:06 am:

    She worked for the State for 22 years and she’s not pension-eligible? I assume that means, she’s not eligible to draw benefits immediately. Otherwise, what’s up with that?


  33. - Foxfire - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:09 am:

    Arbitrator Kinnaman has a reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly arbitrators in the whole work comp. system. Some employers knew her well and elected to settle cases rather than risk a large award. I believe Pat Quinn got this one right.


  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    Ask: would she have been reappointed if Henry et.al hadn’t hounded Quinn. Beyer did what he thought best for AFSCME, and had to know it would likely have personal consequences for his wife. She had to know it as we’ll, OR they both underestimated Quinn’s capability to pay back


  35. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    =Enough with the semantics arguments. She was booted, no matter how you look at it.=

    I guess that’s a way of looking at it. Another is that regardless of how long she’s been there, it’s not a lifetime appointment, period, and there should be no expectation that it would be, no matter how well the job is done. Exempt positions exist so that a Chief Executive can have policy control within his administration. Quinn may have (accurately or not) determined that this person was not best suited to implement the policies of the state of Illinois as Quinn would have them implemented, ergo she had to go. Nothing wrong with that.

    Now I need a shower. I’ve never defended Pat Quinn.


  36. - phocion - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    @Observing. Vindictiveness isn’t Hannig’s style? If you say so…


  37. - Cook County Commoner - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    Welcome to Illinois. Maybe she can get a secret letter from one of Cellini’s “prominent journalists” who write to Judge Zagel on his behalf.


  38. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:14 pm:

    WOW: PQ actually flexing some gubernatorial muscle.. actually kind of proud of his Richard J Daley power play


  39. - Madison - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    But really folks, of all the battles you could pick? All the messages that could be sent? This? You gotta be kidding me.


  40. - huh - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    = She worked for the State for 22 years and she’s not pension-eligible? I assume that means, she’s not eligible to draw benefits immediately. Otherwise, what’s up with that? =

    There are many non-pensionable positions in State government. I am pretty sure arbitrators fall in that category.


  41. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Was it payback ? Sure but who cares. Henry’s wife working for the state reminds me of the movie Sleeping with the enemy. Now no one will be able to question if it is a conflict of interest. Nothing holding you back now Henry, go get him !!


  42. - Concerned - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    Don’t u think Kinnamon serving as an Arbitrator deciding values of workers cases was a conflict of interest when her husband ran the Union? Especially when she was so overwhelmingly pro-petitioner. Clearly, she should never have been appointed an arbitrator in the first place!!!!


  43. - Nonplussed - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Words could not do justice to how little I care about Henry Bayer’s wifes job.


  44. - Sir Reel - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    Welcome to State government in IL. A small number of double exempt positions (agency directors, etc.), a slightly larger number of term appointment positions, and the vast majority in the union with job security after a few years, many of which make more than $100K/year. Infusing “new blood” into State government does not work well when most jobs are exempt from infusion.


  45. - Anon - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    CMS put out an RFP to outsource CMS work comp based on legislation that had a 1/1/13 effective date. This seems to be in line with that by not reappointing all 3 year term appointements for something that is getting outsourced.


  46. - zatoichi - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:26 pm:

    A sort of house cleaning in a get even sense.

    “and the vast majority in the union with job security after a few years, many of which make more than $100K/year” Sir Reel, nice generalizations. Could you please provide some real numbers, particularly the number of union workers making over $100K compared to the total of union workers. Is ‘many’ defined as 5%, 65%, or some other number?


  47. - embarrassed - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    What changed in the Gov’s mind since the last time he appointed Arb Kinnaman in October 2011, less than a year ago? And what changed since the WC advisory board (yes businees reps serve on this) unanimously recommended her reappointed. And what changed since the Senate confirmed her to that appointment on about 6 mos ago? And what changed since the Work Comp Commisssion unanimously reappointed her in May 2012. This was obviously a hit job, plain and simple. Nothing to do with any perceived conflict or judical abilities. Whether you like her or not, she was always rated as one of the smartest and most productive arbs out there.


  48. - Sir Reel - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    Many defined as more than a few. Seriously in my former agency, dozens made that kind of salary, albeit often because of OT. Check out the SJR database.


  49. - corrections teacher - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    PQ has no clue as to the amount of damage he has visited on the workers in my department. The fact that our agency is simply a dumping grounds for political hacks with little or no knowledge or experience in the justice system leads to the corrections employees to have little regards or respect for leadership. When the Governor can simply head hunt and eliminate a qualified person, is makes us understand how little regards he has for workers and their families. The retoric he spews is almost criminal in its falsehood. I think he believes in the adage “In Caos There is Profit” He must be making a killing.


  50. - Agricola - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==Arbitrator Kinnaman has a reputation for being one of the most employee-friendly arbitrators in the whole work comp. system. Some employers knew her well and elected to settle cases rather than risk a large award.==

    Please provide the specific case numbers of the workers’ compensation claims that support this assertion.


  51. - cassandra - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 3:18 pm:

    Sounds like if she wanted lifetime job security she had the education and skills to get such a job. in some other branch of public service. Instead, she took a job which she surely knew she could lose at reappointment time.The Quinn admin doesn’t have to explain why they didn’t reappoint her, by statute, I believe.

    Millions of Illinoisians go to jobs every day which they could lose any day–not just at stipulated reappointment times. They do fine. So will this lady, no doubt.


  52. - zatoichi - Friday, Oct 5, 12 @ 3:19 pm:

    Sir Reel, The OT really jumps people. Got friends at JDC who regularly had to work double shifts during the long hiring freezes. Normally they were nowhere near $100K. Most of them got rid of mortgages or car payments after a couple of years of mandatory OT.


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