IDOT: Rehiring alleged patronage jobs too costly

SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - The Illinois transportation secretary says it would be too difficult to reopen the hiring process for jobs contested in a federal lawsuit.

A Chicago lawyer has sued, claiming the Illinois Department of Transportation filled hundreds of jobs without following hiring rules that ban considering politics or loyalty.

The state's personnel agency later determined that about four dozen jobs should have been covered by those rules, and not patronage. A court ruling established the patronage rules.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider told a Senate appropriations committee Thursday that people in those jobs are union members and repeating the hiring process would lead to costly lawsuits

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine says taking no action could lead to future illegal patronage hiring.

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