- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The administration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it wants a judge to decide whether state employees who were improperly hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn should keep union contract job protections.

Rauner’s office says in a statement Wednesday at least 36 employees who were improperly hired into Illinois Department of Transportation positions remain employed with the state. The Rauner administration says they can’t be fired to collective bargaining protections.

The office of Rauner, a Republican, says a motion seeking a decision on the issue was filed this week.

The update comes after a report Monday by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the transportation department detailed how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under Quinn, even as many had little or no experience.

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