Fired State Employees Say They're Scapegoats

May 18, 2006

Two former Illinois state employees say they are scapegoats for Governor Rod Blagojevich.

They were fired in April for giving politically connected applicants a leg-up in the state hiring process.

Today, they asked the Civil Service Commission to drop the case against them and reinstate their jobs.

Carl Draper is representing the former employees.

He says Governor Rod Blagojevich is to blame for giving jobs to applicants with political ties.

"We're going to be very vigorously defending this case and these false charges and trying to get to the bottom line of who's really responsible for manipulation of the employment system and we think it's going to point to the heart of the governor's office," Draper said.

Greg James is serving as an outside legal council for the state.

He says Blagojevich has nothing to do with the case.

James says, "It's not unusual in employment cases, particularly with public employees, when they get charged that they start casting about desperately and blaming other people for what they did." .

The two employees were fired after an internal investigation found test scores of certain applicants were being changed to help them get state jobs.