Edgar Co. (ECWd) -
One of Governor Rauner's campaign promises was to tackle patronage hiring. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said, the administration is actively working on legislation that will “allow us to immediately terminate those employees that were wrongfully hired, but are now protected by improper union contract provisions.”
I wonder if that bill will address patronage hires in the current administration?
An Edgar County local was Rauner's East Central Campaign Director, Kay Holloway. She is not new to politics as she previously worked for Congressman Shimkus.
On numerous occasions before Rauner won his bid for governor she stated if he wins she is getting a state job. After Rauner's victorious election, Ms. Holloway made it very clear that she was going to get a job with the sate. In fact, when it didn't happen right away she might have needed a new cell phone plan as the word was she was calling everyone and their brother about getting a job as she earned it.
An interesting twist however is this person claims residency tax exemptions in two states. Edgar County Illinois and Charlevoix, Michigan. According to Michigan tax records she receives "principal residence" exemption and according to Edgar County tax records she receives the "owner occupied" exemption.
It has been stated after this was first exposed by the Disclosure News that she claimed Michigan as her residency in order to get cheaper tuition for one of her kids going to college there.
How can a person claim "owner occupied" for a tax exemption in Edgar County and "principal residency" exemption in Michigan and not be breaking the law?
Well it turns out she got her state job, and from what we understand she now works for the Illinois Department of Transportation filling a job that reportedly sat empty for at least the past 10 years. Ask yourself this: If a job is vacant for more than 10 years, is it even needed?
Now if her hiring is not a patronage hiring what is it? Does the Governor’s office know his former campaign director on this side of the state ended up getting a state job just like she told everyone she was going to get? Is he aware this state employee claimed and received residency tax exemptions in two states?
If one of her kids is in fact attending a Michigan college and getting instate tuition rates because of her claimed Michigan residence is that not fraud on the College?
We would hope that Governor Rauner sticks to his promise and puts a stop to patronage hires like this, but by all indications some things never change in Illinois, no matter how much they get shaken up.