Quinn Senior Official Out; Rauner Refutes TV Ad

Published 08/27 2014 06:42PM

Updated 08/28 2014 12:30AM

A senior official with Governor Quinn's administration is out after facing scrutiny from a patronage hiring scandal at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Deputy Chief of Staff Sean O'Shea will be off the payroll at the end of the week. A spokesman for Quinn insists the departure has nothing to do with the hiring matter. Meantime, according to Crain's Chicago Business, State Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza last week alleged that the department effectively ignored state anti patronage rules in recent years, hiring hundreds of staffers in policymaking positions for which political factors could be considered but actually using those workers in routine jobs like cutting grass, maintaining computers and filing paperwork. Former IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider was forced out of her job when news of the patronage scandal first surfaced but released a statement recently saying all she did was hire those sent to her by the governor's office where Mr. O'Shea was the senior official supervising the department. Meantime, Quinn's challenger, Republican Bruce Rauner has responded to recent TV ads claiming those ads critical of Rauner are misleading and false. Rauner says one ad claims Rauner outsourced jobs to other countries and started an outsourcing business to help other companies outsource. Rauner says, like Caterpillar and ADM, Zenta H Cube had worldwide operations. He says he employed workers in both the U S and overseas and committed in 2009 to add 1000 workers to its Charlotte, NC office to positions paying an average salary of $47,900 per year. Regarding an ad in which Rauner is accused of setting up 12 shell companies in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes, Rauner fires back that the on screen citation provided in the ad doesn't support the ad's assertion. Rauner says taxes on his income are not reduced and independent experts have said that locating investment vehicles offshore has no effect on individual investors' U S tax liability. Rauner says he has paid $25 million in state and federal taxes in the last three years and gave $13 million to charity. Rauner also says Quinn has Cayman investments through his pension plan. Both men appeared in Bloomington Wednesday at a forum and plan several debates prior to the November election.

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