Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says there should be no doubt about the qualifications of a former Metra transit employee hired by the state after a referral by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Central Management Services spokesman Mike Claffey says Patrick Ward worked for 25 years in Chicago's personnel department and has a master's degree with an emphasis in labor relations. State officials re-crafted the job after Ward interviewed for it. It was then exempted from rules prohibiting hiring based on politics, so Ward didn't have to compete with other job candidates. The hiring raises questions about the continuing role clout plays in state hiring. Madigan previously had sought a raise for Ward when he worked at Metra. He has been a contributor to Madigan's political campaign funds.
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