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Rauner wants to fire “illegal” Quinn hires

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

The Rauner Administration this week filed a motion to deny employees hired illegally by the previous administration the protection of a collective bargaining agreement.

The motion continues the Rauner Administration’s commitment to reforming the patronage mess it inherited. As the Special Master noted in her recent report:

    “Over the past two years, the Rauner Administration and IDOT have taken significant steps toward eliminating some of the problematic employment practices identified above and in the 2014 OEIG Report… The illegal hiring of the Staff Assistants has a continuing impact on State government. Many individuals hired illegally into the Staff Assistant position remain employed in other positions.”

Currently, at least 36 employees who were improperly hired into the IDOT staff positions remain employed with the state. Due to collective bargaining protections, the Administration cannot terminate these employees. The Administration’s motion asks a judge to decide if collective bargaining rights covering improperly hired employees can actually protect them.

“Since the governor first took office, we have worked diligently to create a more ethical and responsive government,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said. “We are pleased the Special Master recognizes our commitment to both cleaning up the patronage mess we inherited and changing the system so the abuse of the past cannot reoccur. Under our changes, rank-and-file state workers will be hired based on what they know, not who they know.”

Last September, Governor Rauner announced that the Administration abolished the staff assistant position and terminated all remaining staff assistants, which were at the center of the IDOT patronage hiring scandal. A 2014 OEIG report found the previous administration illegally hired staff assistants at IDOT and then transferred them into protected government positions or allowed them to perform job duties with little or no relation to their actual job description.

In direct response to the IDOT hiring scandal, Governor Rauner began requiring the state to publish all Rutan-exempt employees on the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal website during his first month in office. Additionally, the Rauner Administration has removed a level of bureaucracy in hiring civil-service positions, which has further protected the hiring process from unlawful political influence.

Keep in mind that the Quinn administration was alleged to have conspired to skirt hiring laws for Rutan-covered civil service jobs in order to get politically connected people into those positions. There are still a number of exempt positions that can be filled via political means. So, comparing this Quinn thing to Rauner’s hiring of, say, Leslie Munger, is apples to oranges. You may not like that hire, but it was legal.


  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    He should.

    Then he should explain why he’s sending out campaign material directly contradicting everything he and every sane person have ever said about needing a tax increase to get out of our budget hole.

    Or maybe just tour another beer nut factory.

  2. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    As an AFSCME member I have no problem with the Governor’s actions on this. Patronage hires make the rest of us look bad and increase our work load. An illegal hire is an illegal hire. Moving them into AFSCME covered positions doesn’t make their hires any more legal. They should go.

  3. - Perrid - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    He got around the law by creating a new job and giving it to her. Yes it’s not illegal, but the only actual difference is that Quinn snuck around because he had to, and Rauner just did it in front of our noses and dared us to do something about it.

  4. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    I won’t defend the way these people illegally burrowed into union-protected positions, but let’s be honest, these aren’t the only state employees Rauner would like to fire.

  5. - Nick - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Shoukd look at the blago hires too

  6. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:53 am:


    I’d argue that Quinn didn’t “have to” hire any of those people just like Rauner didn’t have to hire Munger, Purvis, Diana’s Chief of Staff, etc. But I agree with you that just because those hires are legal doesn’t make them right. That’s on Rauner.

  7. - Huh? - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    I’m confused, didn’t 1.4% already fire a bunch of IDOT staff assistants last year? Is this a new batch of people 1.4% wants to fire?

  8. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    May I point out that being recommended by an elected does not necessarily mean that you’re incompetent?

  9. - Foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    These illegal hires are basically running idot…. their in the union now so good luck with that

  10. - DuPage - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    It should be looked at on the basis of is the person doing a good job at whatever position they are in now. I don’t like the way some of them originally got employed by the state, but IF they have learned a new job and are actually doing the job properly, then they should be treated the same as any other employee.

  11. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    ===didn’t 1.4% already fire a bunch of IDOT staff assistants last year?===

    Those were Merit Comp. positions that Rauner could fire at will. This current batch of employees have been moved into AFSCME-protected positions making it much more difficult to get rid of them. Thus the legal motion.

  12. - Me Again - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Don’t forget Governor Ryan “pounding the termites into the woodwork” just before he left office.

  13. - In a Minute - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    If Rauner’s efforts to terminate these illegally hired state employees is resisted by the public employee unions or the employees themselves, that is really all you need to know about why Illinois state government is the worst in the country and the insider political culture the sleaziest.

  14. - Nick - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    They are in the teamsters also
    They started out at higher rate of pay than the experienced properly hired employees

  15. - Fixer - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    And his party complains about wasting time on non budgetary issues?

    This guy has wasted about two and a half years worth of everyone’s time.

    Yes, patronage hires should be dealt with. But the fact of the matter is, this isn’t going to do decided before he is out of office. If this was the route he wanted to take, this is a little late in his term to get the ball rolling. Seems like another campaign stunt.

  16. - Redraider - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Interesting how a Governor that “clouted” his daughter to a prep school over other more qualified students is going after “clouted” employees . Not the same, but , hypocrisy anyone?

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    ” insider political culture the sleaziest. ” true dat

  18. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    I assume that once they are in union jobs, the union has to represent them in any discharge proceeding.

    A more fundamental question is, why were these political hires allowed to bid into jobs covered by collective bargaining in the first place. Presumably, not only Quinn, but also the relevant union-AFSCME, apparently, had to agree to this.

    Anyway, makes a good campaign commercial for Rauner, and he deserves credit for whatever he does to reduce hiring corruption in state government. Given that government jobs have become golden geese in today’s gig economy, all citizens should have a fair chance at them, not just the politically blessed.

  19. - Phoenix - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    Not only should he fire the illegal hires, but he should also fire the people involved in the scheme. According to the Special Masters report, Quinn’s office was working with a secret shared computer program accessible to only 4 select agency liaisons. One of those liaisons still works in the Rauner administration.

    Hard to buy the “cleaning it up” story when you keep ringleaders on the payroll

  20. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Cubs in ‘16, considering its IDOT, I imagine most of the individuals are covered under the Teamster’s CBA, not AFSCME.

    And the firing before was a court settlement, that included provisions that allowed those who were laid-off to be on a recall list for three years, so it was not an at-will firing.

    Its also not clear how many of the current 36 employees were covered under that previous settlement.

  21. - sal-says - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    Munger et all.
    # Just the same kind of hire he whines about. A political payoff, legal or not.

    “…allowed them to perform job duties with little or no relation to their actual job description.”
    # Pretty much the description of Raunner. Has not produced his mandated balanced budget for 3 cycles. He should resign the same day he fires the illegals.

  22. - Moist von Lipwig - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    The comparison between these hires and Munger is only apples and oranges if the Quinn people knew the Staff Assistants had been misclassified. The report shows they were trying to put people in spots (shocker!), but didn’t show that they knew they were misclassified. The report simply asserts they knew with no evidence.

  23. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    I have to back Rauner on this one. Surprised he didn’t go to court sooner.

  24. - Allen D - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Kudo’s to the Governor…. AFSCME should have been behind him in this, not hindering it.

  25. - northsider (the original) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    Governor might not want to be throwing stones towards one of his glass houses.

  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    How do you still have illegal hires
    29 people went last sept 15 how are they different from them think I have to consult an attorney

  27. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    If you were one of the 29 laid off contact Jeff 773-259-2100

  28. - Ghost - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    or like complaining that a lawful behicle purchase for 35 k is improper and gets coverage; but then saying a lawful gire that costs more then double that vehicle shoild be ignored cause it was legit.

    But lets make it apples to apples. Rich tou are wrong to blow off the Minger hore as legit… she transfered 71million to th from grf to one of the govenors pet funds and the. get a huge salary job? and thats not a hire that should be questioned? I do not beleive its legal to misdirect funds for a job…. no mayter how effin golden the job you are selling

  29. - City Zen - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Illegal Aliequinns.

  30. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    The longer Rauner can stay in his 2015 campaign mode, the more he likes it.

  31. - Shake - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    Rauner Would Like To Fire Them. He’s Got His Lapdogs To Put In Those Spots.

  32. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 2:58 pm:

    These people are represented by the Teamsters, not by AFSCME. Folks wrongly claiming otherwise really shouldn’t comment if they don’t know the facts.

  33. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 5:03 pm:

    Rich, is it kosher for attorneys to solicit business on your site through blog comments? (anon 12:18)

  34. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Apr 26, 17 @ 8:53 pm:

    Great news for Rauner. If he wins, that means more money to hire new Deputy Governors.

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