An Illinois Senate panel has approved Gov. Pat Quinn's choice to oversee the state Department of Corrections despite objections from Republicans. The 7-2 vote on Corrections Director S.A. ``Tony'' Godinez came during a hearing in Chicago. The approval came after Senate President John Cullerton appointed temporary members to the 12-person panel because at least four central and southern Illinois lawmakers didn't attend. State Sen. Tim Bivins from Dixon is the panel's ranking Republican. He says the vote right before the primary creates an unusual appearance. Godinez has been criticized for hiring an alleged ex-gang member as an adviser before the man was fired. The full state Senate must approve Godinez's appointment.
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