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Former Harrisburg IDOT official fined by state

Staff Report
updated: 12/10/2012 3:59 PM

Former Harrisburg Illinois Department of Transportation executive Danny Clayton has been fined $4,000 by the state’s Executive Ethics Commission for improper hiring activities and failure to cooperate in an investigation, according to information from the agency’s Web site.

Clayton was an assistant to the Region Five Engineer in IDOT District Nine and the conduct for which Clayton is accused occurred in April 2009 involving a summer jobs program, according to the state.

The state maintains Clayton was involved in improper scoring of applicants for the jobs program, resulting in some more qualified applicants appearing as less qualified and less qualified applications being more qualified.

The Office of Executive Inspector General for Agencies of the Governor investigated possible hiring improprieties in the 2009 summer jobs program and Clayton “denied being involved in any way in the 2009 summer hiring program, denied personally removing applications and denied asking anyone to submit a second application” as well as denying altering scores or providing information that resulted in altering scores.

Michael Bigler, another IDOT employee, told investigators Clayton spoke to him privately telling him he had told investigators he “had nothing to do with the 2009 summer hiring process and that it was handled by personnel” and told Bigler it was in Bigler’s interest to answer the investigators’ questions the same way. Bigler informed the OEIGG investigator of his conversation with Clayton.

At a hearing it was revealed one candidate who was the brother of an IDOT employee received a perfect score on his application, but a lower score on his second application, two other candidates’ scores increased with a second application and one of those had strong times with the Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The OEIGG recommended Clayton be terminated with occurred January 2011.

The OEIGG determined Clayton had violated  the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act by failing to cooperate in the investigation by stating he did not ask Bigler to make false statements to investigators and by asking Bigler to tell OEIG investigators that Clayton did not aid the 2009 Summer Program candidates, did not improperly remove candidate’s applications and that he had no involvement in the hiring process.

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