(CBS) — The state’s top investigator has found that the Illinois Department of Transportation circumvented rules devised to keep politics out of state jobs and improperly hired more than 250 people in the last decade, reports WBBM’s Mike Krauser.
Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza’s report says IDOT’s use of staff assistants to skirt anti-patronage guidelines began in 2003 under then-Governor Rod Blagojevich.
According to the report, the number of hires jumped from 52 in 2008 to 104 in 2011 under Governor Pat Quinn.
The report says investigators found no evidence that Quinn or his staff members were aware of impropriety but former IDOT Secretary Anne Schneider, who resigned in June as heat grew on the administration over the hiring issue, said recommendations for the agency hires came from Quinn’s office.
A spokesman for the governor says acknowledged his office does suggest applicants for jobs but said the governor expects them to be hired according to the rules.
Quinn’s acting transportation secretary said Friday before the report was released that IDOT had decided to lay off 58 current staff assistants at the agency and create a review board to oversee hiring.