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Embroiled Ex-State Rep. Withdraws From Parole Board

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Careen Gordon & Pat Quinn

Former Illinois State Rep. Careen Gordon (left) got an $86,000 state job after voting for a major income tax hike backed by Gov. Pat Quinn (right). (Credit: Illinois General Assembly/CBS)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – A former Illinois state lawmaker has withdrawn her name from a post on the state parole board, amid criticism that she was appointed to the job shortly after voting for Gov. Pat Quinn’s income tax hike.

CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall learned Wednesday from state Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) that Careen Gordon had withdrawn her name from the Prisoner Review Board, to which she was nominated by Gov. Pat Quinn.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

She withdrew from the $86,000 a year post a day before she was to face the state Senate regarding her confirmation to the board.

Quinn named the Morris Democrat to the board after she lost her reelection bid in November.

Critics point out that Gordon spoke against Quinn’s 66 percent income tax hike during her unsuccessful campaign against victorious Republican Sue Rezin (R-Peru), and questioned whether Quinn rewarded her with the appointment after she changed her position and voted in favor of the tax hike.

At the time, Gordon told the Tribune that her vote “was never for sale” and Quinn’s office said she was appointed because of her past work on criminal justice issues.

Gordon even came up in deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s four-hour radio stint on Wednesday.

“Why is it OK for Pat Quinn and Careen Gordon to act in this way, but we’re sitting in a situation where you’re going to go to trial again?” Blagojevich’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, said on the air on WLS-890 AM.

Later in a letter to Quinn, Gordon asked that her nomination be withdrawn. She gave no reason, and a Quinn spokeswoman said she didn’t know what led to the decision.

The spokeswoman, Annie Thompson, also said she didn’t know whether Quinn would try to find a different state job for Gordon.

Quinn said he nominated her for the job because of Gordon’s background as a prosecutor and legislator.

This was the second nomination Quinn has had to withdraw recently. His choice to head the state police ran into strong criticism, even after serving as acting director for nearly two years.

Quinn ended up having Jonathon Monken run the Emergency Management Agency instead of the state police.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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