Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, last week proposed a purge of individuals appointed to state agency jobs and commissions by former governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan.
The move could affect about 3,000 people whose appointments needed Senate approval or whose positions were exempt from political hiring rules, according to Madigan’s estimates. Agencies that would be impacted include the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the Illinois Finance Authority.
Madigan suggested that he was not happy with the pace with which new Gov. Pat Quinn was moving to “fumigate” state government. Quinn used that term after he became governor after the removal of his predecessor — Blagojevich — by the General Assembly through impeachment proceedings early this year.
Blagojevich faces a trial on criminal corruption charges stemming from pay-to-play allegations, and his predecessor Ryan is currently in federal prison on corruption and racketeering charges.
The proposal, which is not yet in bill form, would give Quinn several months to decide what officials to keep before the firings and he would have the power to reappoint any officials.