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A politically affiliated Illinois tollway agent assassin aftermost year for an important $80,016 engineering administration job aftermost formed in 2001 as an annual controlling affairs appointment furniture.
Laura Durkin is the agency’s accepted administrator of engineering and sister-in-law to Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs. Tollway admiral afresh appear Laura Durkin’s resume to the Daily Herald afterwards abnegation it for weeks.
She was assassin in bounce 2017 for the job administering assorted engineering, architectural and architecture contracts. The position requires a minimum of bristles years’ administration acquaintance administering architecture contracts, according to the tollway’s job description.
Laura Durkin has a amount in autogenous design. Her best contempo position was from 1996 to 2001 alive as an annual controlling for Workspace, an appointment appliance dealership in Oakbrook Terrace. She ahead handled sales accounts for two added appointment appliance companies.
“She was acutely able for her beforehand jobs … but actual little of that acquaintance seems to alteration to the new position at the tollway as ‘general administrator of engineering,'” said Bill Morris of Grayslake, a above accompaniment agent and above tollway director. “It doesn’t canyon the aroma test.”
Tollway authorities dedicated Durkin’s hiring, adage she is able and that Jim Durkin was not involved. Durkin and his agents did not acknowledge to requests for comment, nor did Laura Durkin.
Laura Durkin has “extensive acquaintance in arrangement management, including activities accompanying to all aspects of activity phasing from planning, architectural architecture and architecture through bite annual activities. This position is not appropriate to be abounding by a able engineer,” backer Joelle McGinnis said.
Durkin and nine added candidates were interviewed for the job. “She had the best accomplishment set of the candidates advised for the job including administration experience, authoritative abilities and detail focus,” McGinnis said.
That’s not how above Democratic Sen. Susan Garrett of Lake Forest sees it.
Laura Durkin’s “experience with managing chump annual projects and convalescent sales goals on appointment spaces is awfully altered from the job requirements set by the tollway to baby-sit abstruse engineering projects and bids annual hundreds of millions of dollars. The abstruse requirements for the position necessitate specific abilities and experience, which Durkin’s resume does not contain,” said Garrett, administrator of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
“Also, Durkin has not been alive in over 17 years, giving added affair to her accomplishment set actuality up to date for this important position.”
Tollway Arch Architect Paul Kovacs said he recommended Durkin for the position “because I acquainted she was the best fit for the position and the advantage we were able to offer. Ms. Durkin has met all my expectations over the accomplished 10 months and continues to accomplish able-bodied as a allotment of our engineering team.”
Tollway admiral ahead denied a Freedom of Advice Act appeal from the Daily Herald gluttonous Durkin’s resume, adage the advice was claimed and of “minimal absorption to the public.” The Daily Herald appealed the abnegation to the Illinois attorney’s general’s office, which intervened in the dispute.
The antecedent accepted administrator of engineering becoming added than $120,000 annually.
“The actuality that they are allegedly advantageous tens of bags (of dollars) beneath than the aftermost being earned, accumulated with aggravating to authority aback on information, seems to announce this accomplished affair does not accommodated the aroma test,” said Morris, a Democrat and above Waukegan mayor.
“They may not accept contacted Rep. Durkin anon in affiliation to his sister-in-law, nor did he acquaintance them, but they are apparently appliance the old ‘good old boy’ action of booking a favor alike if not asked to aggregate in the future.”
The tollway lath is appointed by the Illinois governor and about the controlling administrator is called in appointment with or by the governor.
The tollway suffers from a history as a “political and advocacy playground,” admitting ameliorate efforts, Morris said. “It looks like we ability able-bodied be affective aback to that bold at the amount of assessment and taxpayers in Illinois. When I was on the board, Administrator Paula Wolff was actual accurate to accumulate the hiring action professional. There is actually annihilation amiss with hiring addition accompanying to a arresting political amount as continued as that being has the accreditation for the job.”
A backer for Gov. Bruce Rauner said any questions were “best airish to the tollway. They do their own hiring and apperceive their employees’ credentials.”
Earlier, McGinnis said, “no one from the tollway was contacted by Rep. Jim Durkin apropos her application, nor was he listed as advertence on her application. The altercation that advocacy was somehow in comedy is not applicable.”
Durkin’s resume summarizes herself as an controlling “accomplished in managing chump annual … while accompanying beyond sales goals.” Listed abilities include: negotiator, chump relations, budgeting, design, activity scheduling.
At Workspace she developed new audience through business and managed projects appliance adjustment expediting, aircraft schedules and accession phasing. Her resume indicates she was alive in activity phasing from planning, architectural and design, and construction.
She was an annual administrator at Appointment Concepts Inc. from April 1994 to August 1996, advancement civic accounts with an accent in architecture and service-oriented sales. She was an annual coordinator at Appointment Equipment Co. of Chicago and formulated amount quotations, absolute appliance specifications, placed orders and accommodating installation, the resume states.
The tollway is boarded on a massive $12 billion alley architecture affairs and the accepted administrator is declared as a “key agents and ability person” to the arch engineer.
Tollway admiral said the job entails blank of the Engineering Administration arrangement casework unit, certificate ascendancy accumulation and web-based activity administration team. That involves acceptable tollway engineers and managers with processing arrangement paperwork and acknowledging with affidavit procedures involving 240 contracts.
The engineering administrator additionally manages the breeze of arrangement affidavit from announcement bids to closeout and works with the diversity, procurement, acknowledged and accounts departments.