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Quinn's Prison Appointee on Sick Leave for 17 Months

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Quinn's Prison Appointee on Sick Leave for 17 Months

A board member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board is under fire for not showing up to work -- for 17 months.

Roger Walker Jr. has only worked one day since being appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in June 2009, according to records.

The board comprises 15 people -- including Walker --  and it decides whether inmates sentenced for violent crimes in the 1970's or earlier should be paroled based on the reviews of documents and interviews.

Walker, who makes the $85,886 annually for the position, said he is on sick leave due to heart, lung, and stomach problems and needs the job for health insurance purposes.He added that he almost died a few times when hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The governor's office says it's aware of Walker's medical issues, and is trying to find a solution to accommodate him. According to the Chicago Tribune, State law permits the governor to let go of members of the Prisoner Review Board for several reasons, including neglect of duty or inability to serve.

The current board members say they were first pleased by Walker joining the board because of his previous experience with the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to the Chicago Tribune. But now they say they are frustrated because the Quinn administration has failed to handle the matter adequately.

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