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BGA Says Quinn Maintained Blago Political Hiring Program

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BGA Says Quinn Maintained Blago Political Hiring Program

Illinois government is notoriously hinky.

The politicians have been so historically sleazy that the Federal Government had to implement rules for how our governement could operate.

In Chicago and Cook County, the feds implemented the Shakman decree to prohibit political hiring. On the state level, the feds implemented a thing called the "Rutan" rules.

Basically, the Rutan rules, which were implemented about 25 years ago, say that any time the state hires or fires an employee, they have to prove to the federal government that that said hiring and firing was not politically motivated.

Everything was going well, the BGA says, until 2003 when Governor Rod Blagojevich began exploiting a loophole in the way Illinois Department of Transportation job descriptions were crafted. The Rutan rules allow for political hires when jobs include media relations or policy responsibilities.

The Illinois Executive Inspector General has been looking into the hiring practices since last year.

It appears that Governor Pat Quinn may have carried on these end-around practices, according to the BGA and the Inspector General's timeline.

The Inspector General has not said yet if there has been any wrong doing, but the BGA reports some interesting findings.

 

* The state’s executive inspector general is investigating hiring irregularities, and has interviewed a number of former state government employees.

* Since 2003, IDOT officials routinely manipulated job descriptions as a means to get around court-ordered hiring rules.

* In many cases, once political hires were made, they did not fulfill the responsibilities in their job descriptions.

* The number of political hires at IDOT jumped by 63 percent in the last decade, while the number of highway road maintainers plummeted by nearly 800 posts.

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