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Less than a thousand exempt slots now under governor’s control

Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019

* You may recall this story from last month

Hundreds of state jobs that once were exempt from Rutan anti-patronage protections have been reclassified to remove them from political influence during the four years of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration. […]

[Joe Hartzler, who was special counsel to Rauner] said that “we knocked out like 2,500 patronage positions.” […]

At one point, several thousand state jobs were considered Rutan-exempt and subject to patronage considerations. Hartzler said the number is now below 1,500.

Well, the Office of Executive Inspector General just released a list of exempt positions. It currently totals just 953 positions. Click here to see the list.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - unspun - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    To the victor belongs the….holdovers?

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    For what it’s worth, a quick glance at some of the listed incumbents indicates some have been gone at least a year.

  3. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    GovJunk knocked out 2,500 patronage positions but filled with stooges from his clown car parade

  4. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    I am old so probably out of touch with the way things are but I find this wrong. The winner should bring in his/her own people. It is a reward for hard work and a great way to make sure the policies run on are implemented.

  5. - curtis - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    *Job seeker groans intensify*

  6. - Ok - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    Add in Gov OFfice positions and you get to about 1,000

  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    I see the new IT agency DOIT kept its share of patronage positions

  8. - Perplexed - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    And that is why government doesn’t work.

  9. - Jibba - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    Got to give credit where due. Good for Rauner (except for making a bunch of holdovers).

    Looking at the list, exactly how many of the remainder really need to be patronage jobs? Perhaps half or less.

    In order to get the governor’s priorities advanced, you need a political appointee as head, then perhaps some liaisons or a chief of staff. Everyone else should be professional staffers who get to their jobs via experience and knowledge. They should be carrying out the directives of the head. If they do not, then discipline occurs.

    Illinois would be far better off if all of the staff were long time professionals in their field. Political hacks need not apply.

  10. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    I was surprised to see 45 Rutan exempt positions in DCEO but only 18 in Transportation. 133 in Corrections should be enough to carry out policy.

  11. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    What? Rauner accomplished something? snark/

  12. - Prairie State - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    For the record, I have worked with many of the incumbents. Many of them ARE long time professionals in their field. And many of them precede the Rauner administration.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Dozens of wardens and assistant wardens are Rutan exempt. Shouldn’t they be professionals, or are we happy having political appointees there?

    Same for family services, professional regulation, and many others. Best thing Gov. Pritzker could do is to make nearly all these positions non-exempt and fill them with professionals.

    Having said that, I see a few people I know personally who are long term staffers with experience who did not get appointed via political jockeying, so even if the position is Rutan exempt, it may be occupied by a professional today. May not be the case forever, though.

  14. - reddevil1 - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    I understand patronage jobs…but looking at this god how many CIOs does DOIT need? DCFS CIO is listed under DOIT….but DOIT doesn’t manage their system resources?…. and what is the purpose of “Cluster CIOs”?

  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    Looking at the list, a ton of those folks are “Acting” and not actually the bonifide person in the job. Some are really really quality individuals. I hope they are retained.

  16. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    == The winner should bring in his/her own people. ==

    I believe most the SPSA’s are still 4 year term appointments, just not double exempt status / at will. They are automatically out of a job once their term expires because the Governor has to reappoint them before the term expires.

  17. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    IDNR’s Conservation Foundation is another place Pritzker an look at to fire and hire his own.

  18. - Commish - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    Interesting…..some agencies are not listed. The ICC is full of rutan exempt employees but the ICC is not listed.

  19. - Suzanne - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    At this time, 4 years ago, most democrats had already been sent an email or letter firing them. Unsure how it is being handled now.

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    The ICC is not under the governor’s direct control.

  21. - Commish - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    Since the ICC falls under OEIG, I figured they would post those names also.

  22. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    This list does not include some of the jobs that were kicked out of the union, under Quinn. Since they are no longer in the union, I did not think they were protected. For example, the DCEO liaisons for different geographic areas are not on here. There are likely many more.

  23. - Former IEPA - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    Tyler Clark still CoS at DoIT? Total Rauner crony sent by Gov 1% to try and keep former Sec. Bhatt in line.

  24. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:02 pm:

    I am as Republican as the day is long, but Pritzker should shove all these folks out and bring in his own.

    If they are really great people well that’s fine he can decide to keep them. The decision is his.

    Of course if they are exempt political hires and the are acceptable to Pritzker, they were presumably lying when they told Rauner they were his people. So that alone would make it unlikely for me to keep them were I Governor Pritzker.

  25. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:02 pm:


    Not being in the union doesn’t get you on this list. There are plenty of people not in the union who are not considered “political” appointees. They may be exempt but they cannot be fired for any reason like a “political” appointee can. This list would be double-exempt only.

  26. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==I believe most the SPSA’s are still 4 year term appointments==

    There aren’t a whole lot of term appointment positions left I don’t think. I think they started phasing those out some time ago.

  27. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:05 pm:


    You are assuming all of these people are somehow political hacks who got their job through politics, which is absolutely not true. I would venture a guess that the vast majority are career individuals who have worked for the state for quite some time.

    This is why I cringe when the term “political appointment” is used. Yes, technically they can be hired and fired at will. But that doesn’t make them “political.”

  28. - Merica - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    When Rauner first came into office, he correctly identified the problem:

    The “patronage” problem is when an administration uses political calculations to hire people into permanent positons (terms, code covered, PSA, union, single exempt, whatever), the problem being that the next guy is them stuck with the prior hires. So, in the beginning Rauner wanted to convert code covered positions into non protected positions (non code covered, double exempt). For a minute Rauner stopped hiring people into code covered positions.

    Then something changed….. and Rauner’s team totally changed course, a 180, if you will.

    Now once exempt positions are “protected” with a person who was hired by Rauner’s administration.

    I don’t have a lot of faith in Rauner’s hiring “reform.”

  29. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==but Pritzker should shove all these folks out and bring in his own==

    All of them? For what reason? You’re operating under the assmuption that these 1,000 people are all political hires when that simply isn’t the case. I would venture a guess that the vast majority are professionals who have spanned many administrations. Being in one of these positions doesn’t make one political.

  30. - Publius - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    You didn’t eliminate 2,500 patronage position to merely protected the patronage positions you filled making them permanent patronage positions

  31. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    == You didn’t eliminate 2,500 patronage position to merely protected the patronage positions you filled making them permanent patronage positions ==

    If they were SPSA positions, they became 4 year term appointment. Not exactly permanent.

  32. - Whatever - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    ==There aren’t a whole lot of term appointment positions left I don’t think. I think they started phasing those out some time ago. ==

    Blago was converting everyone with term appointments to at-will as their terms expired early in his administration, but seemed to lose interest after about 2 years and just started re-appointing those with expiring terms. Hey, look - a squirrel.

  33. - Unionman - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    I wonder when the list was produced. There are many names on it who have not been with their respective agencies. Maybe the OEIG should look into who actually is working in what position. I am sure there are many other people who should be in Rutan exempt positions that are currently in other positions but have not been officially switched over.

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 5, 19 @ 5:17 pm:

    New governor who cares what Rauner did

  35. - anon - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 12:30 am:

    “Got to give credit where due. Good for Rauner”

    Rauner fired highly-qualified, professional employees, including parents-to-be with babies due in six weeks, who were serving in non-Rutan positions, and replaced them with “non-patronage” hires who SOMEHOW had served on Rauner’s election committees and had literally no qualifications for the jobs at issue.

    Rauner’s staff apologized profusely for the inhumanity of it, but that didn’t pay for insurance for families with babies arriving, did it?

  36. - anon - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 12:35 am:

    PS, we’ve moved twice since Rauner literally destroyed our lives and forced our children onto public assistance so he could replace a respected professional employee with multiple relevant degrees and a long tenure of service with a “non-patronage” hire who was deeply connected to Rauner’s election effort, but we still can’t get off Rauner’s Christmas card and fundraising mail list. Because definitely what we want every year is a card reminding us of how he destroyed our retirement savings and forced us onto public assistance six weeks before our baby was born, and we absolutely TREASURE the fundraising appeals from the man who destroyed our lives and won’t stop sending us mail no matter how often we move, which we had to do when we couldn’t pay our mortgage because of Rauner.

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