State News
7:04 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Gov. Quinn responds to charges of political hiring

Governor Pat Quinn is defending himself against charges he inappropriately uses political considerations in hiring for state jobs. Brian Mackey has more.

Activist Michael Shakman says Quinn is violating prohibitions on too much political hiring in state government. Citing a report last year by the Better Government Association, Shakman says Quinn broke the rules by keeping dozens of Illinois Department of Transportation jobs subject to politics. Quinn denies this.

“When I heard about that last summer, I immediately ordered the Department of Transportation to conduct an audit," Quinn says. "We have zero tolerance for anything on hiring that isn’t exactly according to the rules.”

IDOT says 50 of 62 jobs will be made non-political, and blames the situation on the Blagojevich administration. But Shakman says he tried to address the problem with Quinn as far back as 2009.

“Quinn had just then come to office from being lieutenant governor, and was not at all receptive to our request for this kind of relief," Shakman says. "He took the position that, ‘That’s Blagojevich, it’s not me, I don’t do it.’ "

The relief Shakman wants is a court-appointed monitor who can independently dig deep into state government hiring.