What Illinois Republicans are labeling a patronage scandal is anything but, according to Gov. Pat Quinn. The issue is Quinn’s former campaign manager, Lou Bertuca, being selected as the new executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the state agency in charge of U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Bertuca was hired thanks to a 4-3 vote by the ISFA’s board, with those four votes coming from members appointed by Quinn. Quinn says who runs the authority is not up to him.
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“I name the members, but they pick the staff and the directors,” Quinn said, “and I think that’s the way it should be. I try to let each of these agencies call them as they see them.”Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner had asked the Quinn administration to put a freeze on hiring and appointments during Rauner’s transition into office. The Illinois Republican Party claims Quinn is doing the opposite in two instances: Bertuca, and by possibly extending the contract of Illinois Finance Authority Executuve Director Chris Meister.