Rauner Abolishes IDOT Patronage Position

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Abolishes Position in IDOT Patronage Hiring Scandal

Illegal hires off state payroll

SPRINGFIELD – The Rauner Administration announced today it has abolished the staff assistant position at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The position was central to the IDOT patronage hiring scandal that began under previous administrations.

“Every day we are working to restore the people’s faith and confidence in government,” Governor Rauner said.

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

“Ending this illegal patronage hiring and abolishing the staff assistant position is another step in regaining the trust of Illinois taxpayers.

“Government should work for the people and not the government insiders.”

On September 1, the Administration announced the remaining staff assistants at IDOT had received layoff notices. Their last day with the agency was Thursday, September 15; they are no longer on state payroll.

The staff assistant position came under scrutiny in 2014.

An Executive Inspector General Report found the previous administrations had illegally hired employees into the staff assistant position at IDOT.

These employees would then transfer into protected government positions or perform job duties that had little or no relation to their actual job description.

The previous administration tried to layoff these employees, but the union representing the employees sued to stop those proceedings.

The Rauner Administration reached an agreement with the union to finalize the layoffs of the illegal patronage hires.

Since taking office, Governor Rauner has taken a number of actions to increase transparency in hiring.

He signed an Executive Order to publish Rutan-exempt employees on the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal website in a direct response to the IDOT hiring scandal.

In addition, he signed an Executive Order that removed the requirement that the Governor’s Office review and approve the hiring and promotion decisions of Rutan-covered positions.

This Executive Order removed a level of bureaucracy in hiring civil-service positions and further protected the process from unlawful political influence.


Rauner Abolishes IDOT Patronage Position — 3 Comments

  1. Democrat 63rd District State Representative candidate John Bartman was number 4 on the list of people that Jack Franks sent to the Governor Rod Blagojevich administration (Deputy Chief of Staff Intergovernmental Affairs).

    The people were ranked in priority order.

    The letter was dated February 27, 2003.

    The subject of the letter was, “Positions with Gov. Rod Blagojevich Administration”


    The first two sentences of the letter were:

    “The following are two individuals who we had requested be considered for jobs with the Blagojevich administration.

    They are prioritized as follows:”


    4. John Bartman, a position with IDOT.


    John Bartman did receive a position with IDOT in 2003 as a community liaison.

    He worked at the Illinois Department of Transportation from 2003 – 2015.


    John Bartman was chair of the McHenry County Democrat Party from 2003 – 2006.

    John Bartman was Chair of the McHenry County Democrat Party PAC from 2002 – 2006.


    John Bartman is a current prevailing wage monitor for IOUE Local 150 (labor union) affiliate IIIFC, which monitors that prevailing (union) wages are being paid on taxpayer funded construction projects in Illinois.


    John Bartman did not challenge Jack Franks in the March 15, 2016 primary election as the Democrat candidate for State Representative 63rd District.


    May 15, 2016 (Sunday) – Jack Franks announced he would run for McHenry County Board Chair.


    May 15, 2016 – Jack Franks told Peter Gonigan of First Electric Newspaper on May 15, 2016:

    “Later, in a First Electric Newspaper interview, Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race
    if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”


    July 9, 2016 – The Northwest Herald reported that the Democrat Party of McHenry County chose John Bartman to replace Jack Franks as Democrat candidate for 63rd District State Representative.


    Election to be held November 8, 2016.


    Jack Franks’ dad Herb Franks was the second person listed in the letter that Jack Franks sent to the Rod Blagojevich administration.

    Herb Franks was appointed to a position at the Illinois Courts Commission.


    The first and third person in the letter was the wife and brother of Jack Franks.

    The did not receive a job.

  2. Typo above.

    Should be:

    “The following are individuals who we had requested be considered for jobs with the Blagojevich administration.”

    There were 12 individuals on the jobs request letter from Democrat State Representative Jack Franks to the Deputy Chief of Staff Intergovernmental Affairs for Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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