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Feb. 10, 2016, was the best and affliction of times for approaching University of Illinois agent Lindsay Hansen Anderson.
President Timothy Killeen was appointed to advertise the aing day (Feb. 11) that he had appointed Anderson to be the UI’s controlling administrator of authoritative relations at a bacon of $173,400.
But that day and, afresh three canicule later, Anderson was appointed to be interviewed by a court-appointed adviser attractive into the role Anderson played in a 2009-14 actionable hiring cabal at the Illinois Administering of Transportation.
The aspersion fabricated big account aback it aboriginal bankrupt in the average of the 2014 gubernatorial attack amid Democratic bounden Gov. Patrick Quinn and his Republican amateur Bruce Rauner. Quinn declared to be affronted by the aspersion and accepted that advisers who were break assassin be dismissed.
It fabricated addition big burst afresh aftermost anniversary aback Noelle Brennan, the alfresco adviser appointed by a Chicago federal judge, appear an 89-page address that laid out the aspersion in ample detail.
Among those active in atrocity categorical in the address were a cardinal of baronial Quinn aides. They accommodate two who accept aback fabricated a alteration to the UI payroll.
Anderson, who is based in Chicago, was Quinn’s aldermanic admonition from 2009-12 and again his arch adviser in 2012 and 2013.
The added UI appoint is Ryan Croke, Quinn’s arch and abettor arch of agents from 2009-15. Croke is now the accessory adjudicator of accessible diplomacy and arch of agents to UI Springfield Adjudicator Susan Koch. He receives an anniversary bacon of $85,000.
Speaking on account of President Timothy Killeen, UI agent Thomas Hardy acclaimed “the activities declared in the anew appear adapted monitor’s address were unrelated” to the UI and “occurred afore either affair was active here.”
But Hardy common that Killeen has “directed that adapted U of I cadre — accustomed counsel, animal assets and acquiescence — conduct a accurate and absolute analysis of the monitor’s address anon aloft acceptable acquainted of it” and said he “review is underway.”
“Behavior categorical in the address is unacceptable in the U of I System, which has a cipher of conduct and a able belief and acquiescence office,” Hardy said, pointing out that “the university was not acquainted of the adapted monitor’s action at the time (Anderson and Croke) were hired.”
The address outlines how top Quinn aides apprenticed IDOT to appoint clouted job applicants behindhand of whether they had the adapted abilities to assignment at the administering or whether there was alike a job for them to fill.
Doing so adapted artifice the merit-hiring rules activated to accustomed job seekers.
The clouted applicants included the wives and accouchement of politically affecting accessible officials, including legislators and attack donors, above Quinn attack workers and government advisers attractive for a accession in pay.
Patronage hiring for best positions in accompaniment government has been actionable aback the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court cardinal in Rutan vs. the Republican Affair of Illinois.
The all-inclusive majority of jobs that crave arete hiring are declared as “Rutan covered.” The almost few top authoritative job that can be abounding by political arrangement are alleged “Rutan exempt.”
Top managers at IDOT, pressured by the governor’s office, created affected Rutan-exempt “staff assistant” positions in which the clouted job candidates were placed. Later, abounding of the agents administering were placed in accepted “Rutan-covered” jobs through a affected hiring process.
Anderson and Croke were amid 12 top Quinn administering admiral who were interviewed by Brennan.
They uniformally denied wrongdoing. But Brennan said the affidavit of added assemblage and centralized communications, including email, abiding her that the denials were “not credible.”
A News-Gazette adventure Sunday categorical Croke’s role in the actionable hiring. He was methodical in his record-keeping, advancement a computer database on the applicants. The address reveals that Anderson additionally was able-bodied organized. She maintained agitation lists that “contained a account of calls to make.”
“The account appeared to accommodate the names of candidates who had been recommended for application … and the name of the legislators that fabricated the recommendation,” the address states.
Anderson’s Dec. 17, 2010, “to do” account included such references as “Rep. Careen Gordon (two resumes), Rep. Hernandez (resume), Rep. Mautino, Senator Crotty … (Crotty expects acknowledgment Monday), Senator Lightford, assignment force assortment — recommended for agent director, Senator Munoz.”
Anderson’s agitation list, the monitor’s address stated, appeared to analyze specific governor’s arrangement staffer amenable for anniversary request.
“For example, (Quinn’s arch of operations) Simone McNeil was assigned to conductor requests on account of (Candidate 38) and (Candidate 1),” the address states.
In her account with the alfresco monitor, Anderson minimized the role she played in the atrocity and cited an disability to recall.
“Anderson declared she sometimes accustomed applicant referrals from adopted officials. She accustomed that she would canyon the candidates to agencies and analysis on the status. She referred to her role as a ‘messenger’ tasked with administration advice amid adopted admiral and the agencies,” the address states.
Anderson additionally said she accustomed requests from legislators allurement for updates, but maintained that “a candidate’s name aing to an adopted official’s name did not necessarily beggarly the applicant was sponsored by that official.”
Monitor Brennan was not abiding by that denial, advertence that “our analysis suggests the candidates on her ‘to do’ lists were in actuality sponsored by the agnate adopted official.”
Despite Anderson’s disability to anamnesis specifics, abstracts angry up by the adviser announce she was in acquaintance with abundant legislators apropos the jobs issue.
“The afterward were accustomed aftermost night. Jack capital you to be acquainted so the adapted administrator could be notified,” an abettor to top Quinn abettor Jack Lavin emailed Anderson on June 24, 2011.
“I accept accomplished out to all of them (although I haven’t been able to get through to Mayfield),” Anderson responded, apropos to a accumulation of bristles legislators including accompaniment Rep. Rita Mayfield of Waukegan.
It wasn’t accessible bamboozlement the capacity of agreement amateur job candidates in accidental jobs, and Anderson sometimes begin herself in the average of problems acquired by affected hiring policies, including putting clouted applicants into acting positions.
Consider her adventures with Agents Abettor 5, who had formed as a coffer administrator and was sponsored by accompaniment Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez of Cicero.
“I’m accepting agitated buzz calls because (SA 5) got a abortion notice. Do you apperceive annihilation about it,” Anderson emailed Quinn agent arch of agents Mark Harris on April 20, 2011.
SA 5’s acting 60-day appoint had expired, and he’d been laid off. Bristles canicule later, he was aback on the payroll, confined the additional of what would be four 60-day “emergency hires.”
The duties SA 5 performed akin neither his agents abettor authoritative job description nor his skills. He formed analytical roads, authoritative contractors and advancing assignment orders. He assuredly landed a abiding position at IDOT in November 2011.
SA 6 accepted to be an alike bigger headache. SA 6 was sponsored by above accompaniment Sen. Gary Forby of Benton. A accomplished Democratic Affair administrator in Franklin County, SA 6 had formed as a biking advisor and cafeteria administrator at WalMart and Kroger, had no academy apprenticeship and no acquaintance in busline and government policy.
That accepted to be no problem.
She landed what was declared to be a authoritative agents abettor post, a move that additional her pay from $6,000 a year to $45,720. SA 6 was declared to abetment “in the all-embracing development and allocation of action and directives” in her IDOT district. Instead, she handled mail, answered phones and took affliction of assurance in/sign out sheets.”
Anderson was captivated aback she heard her efforts to get SA 6 a job had paid off.
“Thanks. I’ve been cat-and-mouse for that one — I’ll ability out in the morning,” she emailed a co-worker, apparently apropos to her ambition of absolution Forby apperceive his applicant was on the accompaniment payroll.
Jim Dey, a affiliate of The News-Gazette staff, can be accomplished by email at [email protected] or by buzz at 217-351-5369.
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