The raises -- the largest amounting to an 11.5
percent increase, or nearly $10,000 -- came on
top of a routine cost-of-living boost most
department employees received Jan. 1. They took
effect Jan. 16, two weeks before new Gov. Pat
Quinn replaced Blagojevich, who was thrown out
of office amid corruption allegations.
increases come as Illinois faces an
unprecedented budget deficit and as the federal
government admonishes IDOT for not having enough
people to oversee federal stimulus construction
"These fat raises for top managers would be
out of line in any context," said Anders Lindall,
spokesman for the American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees, which represents
300 IDOT employees. "They're especially
disgusting given the state's huge budget hole
and terrible staff shortage."
Quinn's administration had no response when
asked about the pay hikes six weeks ago. But on
Tuesday, Quinn told reporters in eastern
Illinois he had just heard about the matter and
would look into it.
"He's going to review the raises and see how
they were decided upon, and he's going to have
senior staff take a look at that to see if
everything is as it should be," spokesman Bob
IDOT spokeswoman Marisa Kollias said the
raises were necessary to keep "seasoned
management and staff" on board. The agency's
personnel chief and director of finance and
administration were among the managers who got
the extra money.
IDOT officials initially denied anyone at the
agency had received a bonus. Then the agency
wouldn't comment, saying Quinn's office was
handling all salary matters.
The AP ultimately found the pay hikes by
analyzing nearly 11,000 salary transactions in
hundreds of pages of documents obtained through
the Freedom of Information Act. It was only this
week, after being shown the salary transactions,
that a spokeswoman acknowledged some IDOT
employees had received additional money.