GOP lawmakers want federal probe of Quinn hires

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CHICAGO (AP) - Republican members of Illinois’ congressional delegation are calling for a federal investigation of political hiring in Gov. Pat Quinn’s transportation department.

Lawmakers sent a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general. They say they’re concerned federal funds were used in a “scheme” to subvert court-mandated hiring practices.

A Chicago attorney filed a complaint in federal court last week alleging improper patronage hiring in the Democratic governor’s Department of Transportation.

Documents showed the number of political positions at IDOT increased 57 percent in the last decade. Quinn’s office said that was partly due to an increase in road building funded in part by federal stimulus money.

Quinn’s office has said he has “zero tolerance” for wrongdoing and ordered an audit immediately after questions were raised.

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