By: Mark Glennon*
Short and simple stories are always best, if the topic allows for that.
Lost in the bigger tale of patronage at the Illinois Department of Transportation is a little pig-at-the-trough story, significant by itself because it’s darn good evidence of how Governor Quinn’s administration works.
A reporter at The News-Gazette, which serves central Illinois, focused just on one individual’s compensation and pension in a story titled, A Padded Payroll.
Gary Hannig is a former Democratic legislator who became Quinn’s director at IDOT. According to the story, Hannig, was able to pump up his public pension when he resigned from the House to become director at IDOT. By the time he left there his pension was $130,000 a year, far more than what it would have been but for just two years at IDOT. Not content with that he then took a contract job with Quinn as director of legislative affairs for another $150,000 per year, or $280,000 in total, according to the story. Not bad for somebody who, for all practical purposes, never really left the state payroll.
This kind of thing may be common in Illinois and $280,000 may not be much in the big picture of Illinois’ problems, but this is clearly something Quinn had to know about. For those still encumbered by the belief Quinn is a “reformer” of some kind, this one story should be a slap in the face.
The News-Gazette based its story on facts initially collected by For the Good of Illinois. Kudos to both of them.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints