Rauner Goes After Illegal Quinn Patronage Hires

A press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Rauner Administration Seeks to Rid State Government of Illegal Hires Made Under Previous Administration

Comes on the heels of IDOT Special Master recognizing Rauner Administration for cleaning up state government hiring practices

SPRINGFIELD – 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.


Rauner Goes After Illegal Quinn Patronage Hires — 7 Comments

  1. @BadaBing:

    Exactly right, but don’t hold your breath waiting for the County Board to act.

    Too many fake Republicans in Lying Jack Franks pocket.

  2. There is a website for the investigation into IDOT illegal political hires.


    Shakman Illinois

    Court Appointed Special Master for IDOT

    “”On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court appointed a Special Master to investigate and report on employment practices within the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”).

    Except in limited circumstances, the State of Illinois, including IDOT, is prohibited from taking political factors into consideration when making employment decisions.

    Shakman, et al., v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., Case No. 69 C 2145 (“Shakman lawsuit”);

    Rutan v. the Republican Party of Illinois, 497 U.S. 62 (1990) (“Rutan lawsuit”).

    The Special Master is investigating whether IDOT’s employment practices violate these prohibitions and you
    may submit information to the Special Master as part of this investigation.””


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