CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich hailed today’s unanimous ruling by the Illinois Civil Service Commission supporting his decision in March to take action against state employees who, under the prior administration, manipulated personnel rules in order to protect their term appointments.
On March 6, Blagojevich announced that he was taking disciplinary action against 40 employees who filed false paperwork in late 2000 in order to extend their appointments by four years into the next administration. The employees filed papers purporting that within a span of three or four days they resigned from their appointed positions and allegedly took new state jobs, then left the new jobs and accepted new four-year term appointments to their original positions. In fact, they never left their original jobs.
In light of the false paperwork, Blagojevich took disciplinary actions, including dismissal, against the employees. Twelve of the dismissed employees appealed to the state’s Civil Service Commission. Today the commission ruled on the first two of those cases, finding that the employees had never left their first jobs and refusing to validate the procedure used to renew their term appointments.
“One of my very first acts as Governor was to dismiss employees who manipulated the rules to their advantage. Today’s unanimous ruling by the Civil Service Commission affirms what we knew: these individuals were part of a scheme devised by the prior administration to lock-in their jobs and deny the next administration an opportunity to review their qualifications and abilities.”
“Every decision we make should be driven by what’s in the best interest of the people of Illinois, not what’s in the best interest of political friends and loyal supporters,” Blagojevich said. “The old way of doing business in state government has come to an end, and today’s ruling is evidence of that fact.”