AP: IDOT Handed Out “Midnight Raises”

12 department managers got big raises just before Blago was impeached

At least 12 Illinois Department of Transportation managers got what Gov. Pat Quinn refers to as "midnight raises," salary increases that went through just before Quinn's predecessor was booted from office.

Quinn wants to know if IDOT was the only state department to pull the fast one.

An Associated Press review found that the IDOT managers got raises in January for no clear reason, such as a promotion or additional duties. The raises averaged $6,000 a year and one was nearly $10,000, amounting to an 11.5 percent increase.  Those were in addition to regular cost-of-living increases given to most IDOT employees.

The raises took effect Jan. 16, about two weeks before lawmakers removed Blagojevich.

"Midnight raises, if that occurs or has occurred, we'll figure that out and determine whether or not it was appropriate," Quinn

His office said the governor's chief of staff and general counsel "are reviewing any potentially inappropriate raises passed in the final weeks of the previous administration. The Quinn administration remains committed to a fair, transparent and fiscally responsible government."

IDOT spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said the raises were necessary to keep "seasoned management and staff" on board. The agency's
personnel chief and director of finance and administration were among the managers who got the extra money.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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