SPRINGFIELD — Lawyers representing Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration and a group of state transportation workers agreed to a delay in their dismissals to buy time for a court hearing on the matter.
The development late Tuesdayin Sangamon County Circuit Court means 58 Illinois Department of Transportation employees hired as “staff assistants”won’t lose their jobs on Sept. 30, as Quinn’s administration had planned.
The firings the governor signed off on were in response to a report by state Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza that said those employees and dozens of others were hired under that job title by Quinn and imprisoned predecessor, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to skirt anti-patronage hiring rules.
The ethics report has become an issue in Quinn’s re-election battle against Republican Bruce Rauner, who has used the finding to mock the Chicago Democrat’s assertions that he is as a government reformer.
The order entered Tuesday by Sangamon County Circuit Judge Patrick Kelley set an Oct. 28 status hearing to take up the issue, though it’s not certain a final determination on the employees’ fate will be decided then.