Gov. Bruce Rauner says eliminating the job title of staff assistant at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is a small, but important, step in eliminating patronage jobs that ultimately hurt taxpayers.
Several weeks ago Rauner laid off more than two dozen IDOT staffers that were political appointees. That was part of a culture Rauner said has been very difficult to change.
Monday, Rauner announced the elimination of the staff assistant title.
“Job titles can come or go. The key is to look underneath. What is that person really doing, is it necessary and are they there for the right reasons? And it takes a lot of work to sort that out,” Rauner said.
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Rauner said political hires of that magnitude do taxpayers no good.
“The staff assistant position was created for patronage purposes,” Rauner said. “It really had no benefit to people of Illinois, to taxpayers or those that receive government services.”
Rauner said there could be more political hires in other departments, and he’s pushing to increase resources for the executive inspector general to uncover more.
“We want to expand the work of the executive inspector general continuing to look at every
department for positions that should not be in existence and for existence of people who were hired not for the right reason, they were hired for patronage or political reasons, not to provide high quality government services,” Rauner said.
He’s seeking $600,000 for the executive inspector general’s office to continue its investigations into political hiring.