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Reboletti, Colleagues 'Appalled' Former Gang Member Hired at Dept. of Corrections

"Former gang member with political ties" was arrested more than two dozen times before being hired into high-paying government jobs, according to the Sun-Times.

State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) and House Republicans held a press conference in Chicago Friday. They are seeking a potential investigation into apparent "gross lapses" in employment standards at IDOC. (Credit: Illinois House)
State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) and House Republicans held a press conference in Chicago Friday. They are seeking a potential investigation into apparent "gross lapses" in employment standards at IDOC. (Credit: Illinois House)

CHICAGO — How does a former street gang member with an extensive criminal record get placed into multiple high-paying government jobs that allow him access to sensitive information? 

That's what a group of Illinois Republican lawmakers want to find out. Whether by clout or incompetence, it can't happen again, they say.

State Reps. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst), John Anthony (R-Morris) and Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) are outraged that Xandrian McCraven, a former Chicago gang member with more than 24 arrests and falsified job qualifications spanning multiple state agencies, has been hired by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The legislators are looking into a possible investigation of the apparent "gross lapses in employment standards" within the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to a press statement from the legislators.  

“There’s been a clear breakdown in the system involving what at best could be described as incompetence and at worst as the clout-induced, high-cost shuffling of an unqualified, former gang member,” Reboletti said. 

“This situation is appalling at so many levels, but the one I’m most concerned with is the threat to public safety imposed by a former gang member working on the inside of the Illinois Department of Corrections. While I believe the situation in its entirety must be examined, this in particular must be addressed immediately.”

Extensive Criminal Past

The situation was detailed in recent weeks in an investigative report by the Chicago Sun-Times. McCraven was a Chicago gang member "with political ties," according to the report, and was found to have bounced between several high paying jobs with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was hired repeatedly despite major problems with his background, including more than 24 arrests and three convictions ranging from illegal handgun possession to disorderly conduct.  

Most recently, McCraven was employed as a senior advisor to the IDOC Chief of Parole at a salary of $111,432 a year. Like Reboletti, Rep. Anthony, a former police officer, was questioning how a former gang member with such a record was given so many chances at high paying positions within the IDOC.

“We need to ensure that in the future there are clear parameters for employment in these agencies with access to not only the law enforcement system, but also sensitive data,” Anthony said. “There’s clearly more to this story, but as someone with a law enforcement background who has worked as a gang officer in the past, I know the reach of these street gangs. I can very easily see this as an opportunity, using positions in these agencies as a potential source for information and even recruiting.”

Reboletti and Anthony are seeking legislation aimed at barring gang members from employment by state law enforcement agencies and agencies that supervise children. Under their proposal, a person who is documented to have been a member of a criminal gang would be prohibited from employment by Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

For the prohibition to apply, there would have to be documented evidence that he or she was a member of a criminal street gang, including a gang-related conviction of a gang-related offense or finding of fact by a court, and would apply to all hiring by agencies, including unionized and political hires.  

Similarly, Ives is looking to address the situation in a broader sense with a proposal prohibiting a person with two or more criminal convictions from holding employment with the State of Illinois.  

“I think the taxpayers of Illinois are fed up with these types of stories,” Ives said. “To have a politically connected employee bounce between agencies collecting a high level salary with this type of record, all the while apparently falsifying qualifications, is just not acceptable.  And to have been repeatedly ‘placed’ into positions just leaves you asking more questions.” 

Under her proposal, a person who has been convicted two or more times of criminal offenses, including a felony, class A misdemeanor or a DUI, would be ineligible to be employed in any position by the State of Illinois.  While it would exempt certain traffic violations and smaller class misdemeanors, the prohibition would apply prospectively to all state hiring, including unionized, political, legislative and judicial employees.  

All three lawmakers will explore the option of calling for legislative hearings into exactly how this individual was able to repeatedly obtain these positions despite being relieved from his duties at each assignment.  

The IDOC response to legislators' statements can be found here.

ConcernedElhmhurstTaxpayer January 11, 2014 at 08:09 AM
what a mess, how can this guy get hired? now you know how dishonest our police can be - influence rules......
Mark D January 11, 2014 at 09:20 AM
Why stop the list with these agencies? Don't let any of them work anywhere for the state.
Jim Court January 11, 2014 at 10:08 AM
I have found over the years that no profession is immune from bad individuals inhabiting the ranks. Not police, clergy, business , coaching, athletes, teachers, politics, legal, entertainment ,the list is endless. Some careers seem to be inherently more inclined to attracts sociopaths than others. People seem to have a built in need for hero worship and idolatry. The world is filled with endless problems. Cannot we be better than this? Possibly but probably not.
Tyrone Tirey January 12, 2014 at 03:28 AM
That's Illinois for you always has been crooked.
James Lamberson January 12, 2014 at 04:52 AM
If he gets the axe from Illinois, NY or NJ will hire him
Dan Crabtree January 12, 2014 at 09:53 AM
typical democrats is how he got elected...hell in this democrat paradise state you could be satan himself and be appointed to any of these jobs as long as you were a registered democrat that is
johnny n simancas January 12, 2014 at 09:57 AM
fire that guy what ae you waiting for? I know some individuals with Master DEgree 12-15 years experience excellent behavior and 9 month applying for a job and nothing. Why ?
Life.Is.Good January 12, 2014 at 02:47 PM
Xandrian McCraven's background, clearly qualifies him for a high paying job at the the Dept. of Corrections. "How does a former street gang member with an extensive criminal record get placed into multiple high-paying government jobs that allow him access to sensitive information? " Same faux pas happen when people were hired to register Americans for ObamaCare. Background checks were not done and now these fine folks have access to personal information. Not too messed up.
rb January 12, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Over a hundred thousand dollars as a senior advisor? What does a senior advisor do? Not only should this guy be fired...I would think the position could be eliminated. The IDOC could hire 2 or 3 people who actually do some work for what they are paying a Senior Advisor.
George Jolley January 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Probably used Obama as a reference.
john Barnewman January 13, 2014 at 12:11 AM
Everyone keeps forgetting one thing, this is Chicago and Illinois and this is "business as usual". Why everyone shocked, this where obama got his political training and backing as well as experience from.
Joe Mann January 13, 2014 at 07:43 AM
They should fire McCraven and the person who hired him.
William Joseph Batson January 13, 2014 at 08:41 AM
This happens more often than you think. Some of these peoples with political connections children have with extensive, often violent criminal pasts. Their records are swept under the rug. Look it up. The info is def. out there.
Jerry Carver January 13, 2014 at 09:31 AM
Duh, its Chicago what do you expect?
Jan Lapointe January 13, 2014 at 09:48 AM
Lots to investigate...but who will do that? We'll see more stories on the weather. What is a politically connected gang member? Pols should be more than outraged! Who hired him? And who is approving these kinds of salaries?
Eric S January 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM
He'll make a fine governor one day. You can't carry a firearm in the state but a felon can get a job in the prison system. Is it just me or does something seem wrong with that?
Nancy January 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM
It's Chicago......nothing good has come out of there nor is anything getting better.
Thomas Stieglitz January 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM
In Chicago no bad deed goes unrewarded.
Darlene DiGrazia VanMetre January 13, 2014 at 01:40 PM
WOW!! Let's just put all convicted criminals on their own island away from all of you perfect people. When was the last conviction? Has he changed his life? Is he now attempting to be a productive member of society? Or would the people of Chicago rather continue to just assign lifetime labels. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Jan Lapointe January 13, 2014 at 02:10 PM
did you read the article? EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND....not extensive professional qualifications....taxpayers are paying these salaries...getting a high paying job through political connections is not turning one's life around.
Dre January 13, 2014 at 02:58 PM
@Darlene DiGrazia - Read the article.... 24 arrests, 3 convictions, and he falsified information on job applications. I have a friend that has one felony arrest and holds a high paying job, but he's proven many times over that he's not the same guy that got arrested as a young man in his 20s, so I'm all for second chances, but 24 arrests, seriously... don't be so quick to give the benefit of the doubt.
Einstein January 13, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Hey, I had a Capuchin Organ Grinder Monkey that grew up to be President. Anything can happen in America,
Dre January 13, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Anything can happen, but it shouldn't. This cool cat got fired from the Chicago Housing Authority PD in 1999 for domestic battery and reckless conduct. You'd think being fired from a government position due to committing a crime would prevent you from getting another government job. Being charged with domestic abuse is enough to bar him from a lot of government jobs just by itself.
John Sikirica January 13, 2014 at 04:16 PM
This is why Illinois is loosing it, business is leaving, too many corrupt people in power, never stops.
Judith Kenny January 13, 2014 at 04:42 PM
Gee I wonder who his contact is?? Sooner or later it will come out and I wold liek to hav Las Vegas put a betting board up to see who was his contact LOL Ten to one says it is a democrat since the democrats have ruined chicago lol BUT I won;t say the name because I dont wanna hear the boo hooing in here .
Mirder Goar January 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM
@Judith Kenny Good job shutting your mouth, silence make you look smarter. Side note: Fire the guy, he lied on his resume, the rest doesn't matter.

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