Patronage at IDOT
12:52 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Quinn Won't Say Why Administration Contradicted Itself On Patronage

Gov. Pat Quinn takes questions from reporters Friday morning after cutting the ribbon at the 2014 Illinois State Fair.
Gov. Pat Quinn takes questions from reporters Friday morning after cutting the ribbon at the 2014 Illinois State Fair.
Credit Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  Governor Pat Quinn won't say why his administration contradicted itself when it came to cleaning up hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation. The administration had previously said the fix was done, but now says it isn't complete.

In facing a lawsuit over political patronage hiring at IDOT, Gov. Quinn characterized it as a non-issue.

His administration said it had already taken care of the problem; that IDOT had reduced the number of jobs in which politics would be taken into consideration.

But when the Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details on just what jobs were reclassified, the the Quinn administration refused because the process is still underway.

The governor says it's taking time to do it "the right way."

"It's going to happen, okay?" he said. "We're in the process of doing that. I've frozen any kind of the hiring over there ... Right now they're doing the reclassification, they are not complete. When that is done, all the records will be provided to anyone that wants to look at them."

But Quinn did not explain why he had previously acted like it was already taken care of.

The lawsuit, which seeks to have a court-appointed watchdog overseeing hiring, is ongoing.