Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » IDOT layoffs could mean lots of lawsuits
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
IDOT layoffs could mean lots of lawsuits

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* From the AP’s short version

The unexpected firing of 58 state workers whose jobs were improperly filled with politic considerations probably won’t end the controversy for Gov. Pat Quinn.

His aides announced the firings last week ahead of a report saying more than 250 people had been improperly hired at the Department of Transportation over the last decade.

Agency officials said previously that they’d avoid dismissing any of the 250 workers because it could lead to expensive lawsuits.

* From the long version

(O)n Friday, IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said keeping the employees on the payroll would have required creating new positions for them that were covered by the hiring rules.

“We determined that … eliminating the staff assistant position was the best path forward to ensure integrity,” he said.

Carl Draper, a Springfield-based attorney who represented the 16 employees who sued Blagojevich, said it wouldn’t be inconceivable for the 58 employees to argue in court that the inspector general found they were doing work protected by the Rutan rules, so they can’t be fired without cause. Key to his case was showing “the jury that there was no material reorganization.”

“It sounds to me more like [in this case] the material reorganization is, ‘We’re firing all the people that the [news media have] now reported as having gotten Rutan-protected jobs and we shouldn’t have hired them that way,” Draper said.

The terminations also render moot a time-consuming, months-long process the administration says it had undertaken to reclassify the IDOT jobs.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - Empty Chair - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Catch 22


  2. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Is it just me, or does it seem odd the only people to pay a price here are the people at the end of this chain of events?

    The people who were hired and ideally just doing their jobs every day get fired. But the people who allegedly created these positions and improperly exploited the system in order to make these hires face no consequences whatsoever?

    It was not the people being hired who were wrong here.


  3. - Kevin Highland - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Weren’t these Rutan exempt jobs? Doesn’t that mean they were “at will employees” meaning they could be let go whenever?

    Or since the jobs were illegally created then the jobs just go away anyway?

    Either way I’m not sure where I see the employees having any recourse.


  4. - ucster - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    The people being hired knew they were being given jobs improperly. They are not innocent victims here.


  5. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    The writer couldn’t have asked a more expert attorney than Carl. He knows his government law and has helped so many.


  6. - A guy... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Glad to see they’re “ensuring integrity”. That’s their strength there. Ack.


  7. - Chris - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    “The people being hired knew they were being given jobs improperly.”

    And if they didn’t, then that’s evidence that it wasn’t a “policy” job anyway, right?


  8. - TCB - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    @Kevin Highland, how is it the responsibility of a potential job candidate to ensure that state law is followed in the hiring process? The responsibility lies solely on IDOT here. The only way these people are to blame is if someone proves they did something improper in order to get a leg-up in the hiring process.


  9. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    ==Doesn’t that mean they were “at will employees” meaning they could be let go whenever?==

    There are still personnel code protections for jobs that are Rutan exempt, depending on their exemption classification.


  10. - jim - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Hey, I stole that job fair and square.


  11. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    “The people being hired knew they were being given jobs improperly. They are not innocent victims here.”

    Unless you are applying to run drugs or smuggle people across the border, I think most people would assume the job is legal.


  12. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Was out for a couple of days - was the list of improperly hired employees been made public?


  13. - TCB - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Even if they were political people, getting political jobs, that wasn’t the issue…..the issue was the work they were assigned after they started wasn’t work that matched the type of position they were hired in. I just don’t see how this is anyone’s fault but IDOT.

    If you disagree that political jobs exist in the 1st place, that’s a different argument entirely (but again, that’s not the fault of the job applicants).


  14. - Weltschmerz - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    If you didn’t go to your clout; you didn’t get the job. If you have the job you were clouted in.


  15. - Madison - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Firing these indiduals prompts two questions off the bat: as a class, these folks were fired, but all the other political hires were not. This creates an illusion that only these individuals were hired improperly.
    I doubt that these were the only “mistakes”.

    Public policy exclusions against firing individuals politically could also kick in, even after they were alledgedly “hired” politically.

    Persons in Illinois, even if “at will” cannot be fired if doing so violates the public policy exceptions to the “at will” employment doctrine: race,politics,sex, etc.

    Gonna be interesting to watch the hapless PQ try and sliver out of his glass house on this one.


  16. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    One other thing regardng why Illinois roads are typically in such bad shape, and why they seem to continuously be re-done.

    There are varying lifetimes for different pavement designs. Some are more robust, and may ony require major rework every decade or so. Others are much flimsier for a given road traffic load, and have a slightly lower intitial capital material cost, but a MUCH higher life cycle labor cost.

    The way it works is that there’s an original work specification that’s put out for bid for a certain pavement or bridge design, say for a 10 year reapir cycle. If the bids come in high, the logical thing to do is defer the work for the next year when it can be done properly. That’s not the Illinois way. They just come up with an inferior design to the previous bid, rebid the work, then eventually get stuck redoing the work much quicker than anticipated. If, for example, you repalce a 10-year design with a 5-year design, you’ve effectively doubled the life cycle cost, while going with the mmore robust desing would’ve cost 10-20% more than the cheaper one.

    Bad economics, good politics. You see, the contractors, unions and material suppliers couldn’t care less about the longterm value of the work. they want their contracts NOW, and that’s the way the political leaders of IDOT do things, rather than the way the engineers, or any good manager, would.

    That’s one of the real reasons we need good, professional, apolitcal people in charge of groups like IDOT. I’d love to see Rauner make that point.


  17. - Cassandra - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Wouldn’t they have layoff rights under the personnel code. I assume once you are in the state system, you can bid on other vacancies, and there are usually bargaining unit vacancies which no b/u employees have requested. Of course, those jobs might not be the ones a person with clout would want, but they allow the employee to accrue seniority and benefits (like those vanishing defined benefit pension rights) in the state system.


  18. - anon. - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Wow! The only Illinois jobs PQ created were these clout jobs and now he has destroyed them.


  19. - Mister M - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    “The people being hired knew they were being given jobs improperly. They are not innocent victims here.”

    Absolutely. Beyond that, these people were maneuvered into other positions, given authority without qualifications and without accountability except to the political heiarchy. Moreover, this focus is narrow….an attempt to characterize the problem as a small one and ignoring all the abuses to the personnel processes beyond the “staff assistant” issue, i.e., “OK, all fixed, nothing wrong anymore, move along, move along.”


  20. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    A larger question looms. Were the improper hires paid with federal funds?


  21. - Shawshank Red - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    “Glad to see they’re ‘ensuring integrity’. That’s their strength there. Ack.”

    I thought this was a great post by “A guy…”, if for no other reason than he used they’re, there, and their all in the same post, and CORRECTLY! :)
    A guy… - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:06 am:


  22. - flea - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    does anyone else find it troubling/confusing that 250 were hired in this manner but only 58 are being terminated…


  23. - pyrman - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    These folks were NOT hired improperly, they were given job duties other than what they were hired for. Quinn threw them under the bus, they did nothing wrong.


  24. - Ghost - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    === The writer couldn’t have asked a more expert attorney than Carl. He knows his government law and has helped so many. ===

    before you tout his musings too much… Carl is just dead wrong on the law. see Riley v. Blagojevich, 425 F.3d 357 (7th Cir.2005).

    Decision 9 years ago dismissed his argument:

    “It seems to us that if no basis is presented for thinking the official job descriptions systemically unreliable in a sense to be explained, the elected officials can rely on them, even if a plaintiff is prepared to testify (self-servingly) that the job description doesn’t actually describe what he does, thus precipitating a factual inquiry likely to be protracted and inconclusive. “Our focus is on the `inherent powers’ of the office, not what any individual officeholder actually does.” [citation]

    http://openjurist.org/425/f3d/357/riley-v-r-blagojevich


  25. - Chris - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    “Bad economics, good politics. You see, the contractors, unions and material suppliers couldn’t care less about the longterm value of the work. they want their contracts NOW, and that’s the way the political leaders of IDOT do things, rather than the way the engineers, or any good manager, would.”

    Yep, all too true, as a general matter.


  26. - KitKaT - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 6:03 pm:

    Okay so check that off the list, now what about all of the “chosen” employees that work for IDOT but are paid salaries through the various grants? Yet another way to skirt “rutan” and hire whomever you want!


  27. - Hmmm - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:42 pm:

    Does anyone realize that there are no actual job titles of Staff Assistant at IDOT. Search for that job title on the Comptroller Ledger and none show at IDOT. I do not know who all those fired are, I only know that one of those fired has been there for over nine years (as a TM with specific job duties) and has serious on-going health issues and will now have no health insurance. I also know that many of those brought in as Staff Assistants were trained in positions which were eventually posted and those people got that permanent position. Odd that no other applicant but those were qualified for that particular position. Hmmm


  28. - Pete - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 7:05 am:

    IDOT does not do the direct hiring. All of these positions had to go through CMS. CMS needed to be fumagated when Quinn took office. That didn’t happen. The result is what we have today. Get rid of CMS and have the State Police and IDOT stand alone, and watch our state rise again.

    IDOT is entirely unionized because it is treated like any other department in the state. Shared suffering has resulted in low employee moral, apathy, and taxpayer distrust.

    It’s not surprising that instead of restructuring, re-focusing, and re-invigorating the Dept., the current administration is doubling down and putting another lackey at the helm.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    I would agree this problem is deeper than what has been presented on surface. Jobs were created to favorably bring these individuals in the door (regardless of the task). In some cases, these individuals only received ‘minimal’ training/experience then, and ‘again’, allowed to be highly regarded after interviewing for full-time union positions where they conveniently slid under union protection. I reserve my expression for those layoffs because this long-term ‘crafted scheme’ no doubt hurt existing qualified state employees who competed for those internal postings/positions - perhaps holding more experience (state or otherwise). Those are the employees who worked hard for the state and were denied ‘Fair’ and ‘Equal Opportunity’ to internal promotions all due to what appears to be unfavorable employment practices. Now, who were we feeling sorry for?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Joe Biden cancels State Fair event
* You're a sham and a charlatan! No, you're a sham and a charlatan!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to this morning's Capitol Fax
* In a state full of trivial campaign issues, this is one of the trivialest
* Sorry, it just doesn't work that way
* New Pritzker online ad gently apologizes for the interruption
* Yet another State Fair #facepalm
* It's just a bill
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - The theme spreads to the Senate Dems
* *** UPDATED *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Illinois State Fair Event List
* Rauner announces $1 million donation to repair Coliseum
* Madigan lawyers slammed for wanting to depose a host of Republicans, including Rauner
* Question of the day
* McCann lays out his path
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Erika Harold attacks Kwame Raoul with first TV .....
* Rauner signs legislation aimed at keeping at-ri.....
* Politically connected former employees sue to g.....
* Planned Parenthood Speaker Talks Election Day a.....
* Congressional District 6 candidate Sean Casten .....
* National Minority Donor Awareness Week observed..
* Illinois deals to shed floating-rate and swap r.....
* New Pritzker online ad gently apologizes for th.....
* Rauners announce $1 million donation for Colise.....
* It's just a bill..


* Activists say planned reform of Chicago police falls short
* Emanuel opens new food hall at Chicago’s Midway Airport
* Rauners kick in $1 million to restore fairgrounds’ Coliseum
* Bond decrease denied for men accused of luring boy from home
* Trump Tower operators sued over water release into river
* Defense: No evidence in teen’s death days after Obama event
* Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in Illinois
* Teen’s mom ordered to comply with subpoena or skip trial
* New Mexico education officials adopt changes to state test
* South Bend mayor wants commuter rail to run downtown

* Rauner makes changes to bill on Medicaid eligibility backlog
* Rauners announce $1 million donation for Coliseum work
* Rauner again calls Pritzker, Madigan corrupt
* Veterans, Gold Star Families honored at Illinois State Fair
* Legislation to streamline Medicaid approvals too late for Girard nursing home
* Illinois inspectors climb over, under state fair rides for safety
* Rauner says AG should prosecute Madigan
* New dual-credit course law helps teens lower college costs
* Bill signed to prevent state payouts for sex harassment
* Twilight Parade kicks off 2018 Illinois State Fair

* DuPage pushes fight for O'Hare western terminal
* United sheds punching-bag status with biggest U.S. airline rally
* Northern Trust looks to get into crypto custody
* Redbox gears up for its first major ad campaign
* Whither the Kraft Heinz ketchup packet?


* Ellison wins Minnesota attorney general Democratic primary
* CPD officer probed in Special Operations Section scandal sues for back pay
* Somali-American wins Minnesota Democratic US House primary
* Transgender nominee Hallquist faces Vermont GOP Gov. Scott
* Police searching for East Garfield Park burglary suspect
* Boy, 13, reported missing from Albany Park
* LaMarre’s homer sparks White Sox to victory over Tigers
* Lavish court spending in poor West Virginia triggers scandal
* Man, 40, shot on South Side
* New Mexico bail reforms shaped ruling in compound case


* Walker is Wisconsin GOP choice for governor as Midwest tests Trump appeal in latest primaries
* Courtney Vandersloot sets a WNBA assist record as Sky beat Lynx 91-88
* Ryan LaMarre's first career home run lifts White Sox to 6-3 win over Tigers
* Rauner again makes top bid for Grand Champion steer at state fair
* Illinois cornerbacks coach Donnie Abraham leaves staff for personal reasons
* White Sox pitching prospect Zack Burdi appears ahead of schedule after surgery
* Mariners' Robinson Cano returns from drug suspension, now playing 1B
* 'He created Omarosa': How Trump's protegee turned his tactics against him
* More than 300 priests listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse, more than 1,000 victims identified
* Justin McCray closing in on Packers' right guard job


» A Midway Airport Restaurant Company Is Attracting Interest From The Feds
» Consent Decree Could Boost Mental Health Resources In CPD
» Chicago Charter Schools Risk Budget Cuts Without A Fix In Springfield
» For Illinois Birds, Moving To Urban Areas Key To Survival
» Kindergarten Readiness; Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel; Solar in Southern Illinois
» Aug. 13, 2018 - Full Show
» Rauner Continues To Blame Madigan For 'Illegal Activity'
» Mental Health Treatment For Children, Workaround Podcast; Forgotten Desserts
» When Giving Up Custody Is The Only Way To Get Affordable Health Care; Forgotten Desserts
» Mama Fresh Connects Chicago Moms With Events And Support With Focus On Diversity


* Rauner makes changes to bill on Medicaid eligibility backlog
* Guest View: Remember when Rauner wanted to eliminate DCFS scholarships?
* Marc Thiessen: Trump's failure to reject the bigots of the alt-right tars his presidency
* Illinois lawmakers should emulate Rep. Gordon-Booth’s expungement summits
* Byron York: With Mueller, like Kenneth Starr, beware wishful thinking
* Rauners announce $1 million donation for Coliseum work
* E.J. Dionne: Don't let politics dumb you down
* Senator Durbin: I’m waiting for answers from Brett Kavanaugh
* Rauner again calls Pritzker, Madigan corrupt
* Veterans, Gold Star Families honored at Illinois State Fair


* PHOTOS: Vigil for Decatur stabbing victim Cody Drew
* $51,000 base salary: Norfolk Southern struggling to hire 30 train conductors in Decatur
* 'It never goes away': Bettendorf woman hopes new FDA-approved drug curbs migraine attacks
* Fryer fire leads to evacuation at Buffalo Wild Wings in Belleville
* WATCH: Candlelight vigil for Decatur stabbing victim Cody Drew
* Abraham resigns from UI football staff
* I-74 construction shifts to outside lanes
* Topping off new IHMVCU headquarters
* Marion City Council votes to improve the entrance of city hall
* Chicago police report drop in weekend violence, more patrols


* Girls golf: Barrington sharp in Decatur as Smith leads with 69
* West Chicago police: Firefighters during training find body in smoldering blanket
* LEADING OFF: Acuna provides instant pop, Darvish gets closer
* VFW Queen of Hearts jackpot rolls over again
* Images: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brwers on Tuesday

* LaHood touts lock and dam upgrades during ...
* Plans unveiled for LaGrange Lock & Dam...
* Congressmen busy at Illinois State Fair Ag...
* Congressmen looking at lock and dam
* 18th Congressional District
* Kyndle keeping Henderson region 'in th...
* Like father, like son: A conversation with...
* New Info on Feinstein's Chinese Spy — ...
* Where Do Guns Used to Commit Shootings in ...
* Latinos Could Be Chicago's New Nexus o...

* Fisher Asset Management Has Raised By $242......
* Biden to Visit Springfield...
* Senator Dick Durbin Using Lies to P......
* The Kavanaugh Document Fight...
* Pritzker, Durbin to speak with Decatur sup......

* Sen. Harris, Colleagues Call on DHS Sec Ni......
* 'Disability Rights Are Civil Rights......
* Who backs who in Florida governor race?...
* Yes, Bob Casey is boring. In 2018, that......
* Heating up in the Windy City: The Tipline ......

* Why are Californians moving to Idaho?
* Building Tomorrow’s Talent: Collaboration Can Close Emerging Skills Gap
* Colleges and Universities Woo Once-Overlooked Transfer Students
* How online learning will change education
* How To Stop Slacking Off In Your Online Degree
* How colleges reach remote (rural) students
* Career-ready diploma seals show students are ‘ready for life’
* Arne Duncan’s failures.
* Breaking: EEOC files suit against the Urbana school district for age discrimination. It’s all about the Illinois teacher salary cap.
* Judge Raul Vega named Acting Presiding Judge of Domestic Violence Division


* Governor announces $1 million Rauner family contribution to begin restoration of Coliseum; takes action on package of agriculture legislation
* Governor signs tollway transparency bill
* 2018 Adams County Tentative Multiplier Announced
* Gov. Rauner signs legislation aimed at keeping at-risk families together
* IDOA, Illinois Bicentennial to Host Inaugural Prairie Heritage Ride

  
* Verizon to bundle Apple TV 4K or YouTube TV subscription to future 5G broadband service
* Verizon bringing 5G to Indianapolis
* Project Fi offering a $200 discount on the Pixel 2 XL, heavy discounts on LG phones
* [Deal] Grab a cheap Honor 7X with a back to school promotion!
* We talked to Overwatch League’s franchise director about the future of esports
* Sprint and LG announce 5G phone for 2019
* Moviepass losses jumped from less than $3 million to $126.6 million in a year

* Casting fate: White Sox overcome Detroit, 6-3
* Giolito keeps composure in White Sox win
* LaMarre hits first MLB homer in home state
* Shields shows durability nearing 400-start mark
* White Sox Minor League Update: August 13, 2018
* Flashback: August 14, 2008
* Six Pack of Stats: Tigers 9, White Sox 5


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller