IDOC Responds to Legislators' Statements About Gang Member in Its Ranks

"At no time in this job did he have access to classified, confidential, anti-gang enforcement or other such information."—Tom Shaer, IDOC

Statements made during a press conference held by state Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) and his colleagues in the Illinois House last week has prompted a response from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Following an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times on the hiring of former gang member Xandrian McCraven to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Reboletti and Reps. John Anthnoy (R-Morris) and Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) joined in strong opposition to the practice of hiring former gang members for certain state jobs. They are writing legislation that would bar known gang members from employment in state law enforcement agencies and agencies that supervise children. 

At their press conference last week, the legislators referred to a "breakdown in the system" of hiring at the IDOC, and said they were "concerned about the threat to public safety" imposed by a former gang member working inside IDOC.


Read the full story here: Reboletti, Colleagues 'Appalled' Former Gang Member Hired at Dept. of Corrections


IDOC Director of Communications Tom Shaer responded to the legislators' statements, saying McCraven was fired more than a week ago, prior to the press conference, and that he was not a high-level employee with access to sensitive information. 

While Shaer did not dispute McCraven's six-figure salary, he said his employment and salary were "forced on the State of Illinois" because of the settlement of a union grievance. He said McCraven was hired under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption.

Following, in its entirety, is the statement issued by Shaer on behalf of the IDOC Monday, Jan. 13:

"Mr. McCraven was fired over a week ago. At no time in this job did he have access to classified, confidential, anti-gang enforcement or other such information. Sensitive information has never and will never be made available to anyone in the position he had. Any statement that he had such access is completely incorrect, and IDOC made that clear long before the Representatives’ press conference.

"His position was not high-level and did not involve management, security or authority. His job involved only reviews and reports of routine daily employee responsibilities, none of which were sensitive or security-related. His salary and continued employment were forced on the State of Illinois, as required by the settlement of a union grievance.

"Any statement that this job was high-level or involved management, security, authority or police officer duties is also completely incorrect. This was also made clear by IDOC long before the Representatives’ press conference.

"After this individual’s background came to our attention, Governor Quinn directed the Department of Corrections to review the individual’s employment status, at which point discrepancies in his previous application were identified. He was immediately terminated. IDOC does not tolerate unethical behavior.

"This employee was hired by the state under Rod Blagojevich and inherited by the Quinn Administration. His arrival at IDOC followed the union grievance and settlement. He was not a “known gang member” in the years preceding his arrival at IDOC, including during the grievance process and settlement that required he be employed by the state at the salary he had."

Stewart Levine January 14, 2014 at 06:20 AM
funny how they try to pass everything on blagovich, that guy was just a scapegoat for all those looting the state of illinois. this state is going to look like the city of detroit sooner than later.


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