Here’s from the Chicago Tribune back in July 2006 on sensible reforms Topinka was recommending to protect Veterans hiring rights with the State of Illinois. Reforms that have never been enacted. Reforms that Tammy Duckworth should have looked into after getting hired by Blagojevich as Illinois’s Director of Veterans Affairs in Nov 2006.
Topinka's criticisms come amid a flurry of recent news reports questioning how state hiring was conducted. It also follows the recent disclosure by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald that his office was looking into allegations of "endemic hiring fraud" in Blagojevich's administration and that agents have "developed a number of credible witnesses" implicating multiple state agencies.
In addition, the Tribune recently disclosed that the governor's own inspector general wrote a report critical of Blagojevich's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. The report said the office played a major role in subverting state laws that give veterans preference in state jobs and that ban political consideration in hiring for most jobs.
If elected, Topinka said, she would propose requiring state agencies involved with employmentcertify that veterans-preference laws were followed with all civil service hiring throughout the state and that a panel would be created, overseen by the lieutenant governor, that would scrutinize all records related to employment.
"Currently, neither the governor nor the lieutenant governor has taken steps to ensure compliance," Topinka said. "In fact, it appears that they are taking steps to actively subvert the rules."