Rauner fires 29 from patronage scandal under predecessors

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has laid off 29 Illinois Department of Transportation employees who were among those improperly hired based on political connections.

The Republican said Thursday he issued notices to the so-called "staff assistants" hired by skirting personnel rules under two previous Democratic governors. They were told their last day is Sept. 15.

Hundreds of people were hired into the position starting in 2003. The state's inspector general found in 2014 that the politically connected hires should have been put into their positions based on merit.

A special master appointed in a lawsuit resulting from the scandal found last summer that instead of determining a need for a worker and conducting a blind hiring process, IDOT identified a favored candidate and manipulated to fit.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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