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updated: 8/30/2011 4:31 PM

Quinn's liquor panel hires alderman's daughter

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn's Liquor Control Commission has hired a Chicago alderman's daughter as a part-time secretary for $37,570, making her the latest in a line of politically linked appointees by the administration this year.

Allyson Reboyras, the daughter of Alderman Ariel Reboyras, was one of three people whose names the Democratic governor's office sent to the commission to consider for the opening.

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Commission spokeswoman Sue Hofer said politics played no role in the appointment, and the commission's Republican chairman, Steve Schnorf, said he felt no pressure to hire Reboyras.

But she is among a string of people with political connections appointed to state jobs under Quinn this year. Several of them received high-paying or high-profile posts, including a defeated Democratic lawmaker who was named to a $94,000 board position and the daughter of two powerful Chicago officials named to a $117,000 job.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson refused to comment on Reboyras' appointment and referred questions to Hofer. Neither Reboyras nor her father returned messages seeking comment.

The commission regulates licenses to sell alcohol in Illinois. The secretary's job mostly involves copying and emailing materials to commissioners in advance of their hearings, Hofer said.

The previous secretary worked about 60 percent of a full-time job, or roughly 24 hours a week. That works out to about $30 an hour.

Reboyras, who graduated with a degree in journalism and political science in 2008, might work more, Hofer said. Commissioners sought a "responsive and organized" person, and with Reboyras' background and degree, "they felt that she was the best person for the job," Hofer said.

Hofer declined to name the other two candidates.

After receiving the three names from the governor's office, two commission staff lawyers and a commission member interviewed the candidates and recommended Reboyras, Hofer said. Schnorf said he and commissioner Amy Kurson, a Democrat, then interviewed Reboyras.

Schnorf, budget director under former Gov. George Ryan and one of three Republicans on the seven-member panel since 2003, said he was unaware of Reboyras' connection to the Democratic alderman, who was elected in 2003, until about the time she was interviewed. He didn't know who the other candidates were but said there was no attempt to influence his choice.

"I don't know the political clout of the other two, but we weren't put under any pressure to hire any one of those three," Schnorf said.

Quinn has been criticized for several recent appointments of connected Democrats.

He named former Rep. Mike Smith to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in June, even though Smith isn't technically qualified for the $94,000 position. He made Jennifer Burke, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and Chicago Alderman Edward Burke, a $117,000 member of the Pollution Control Board last month. He also tabbed former Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and ex-Senate President Emil Jones for high-profile though unpaid positions this summer.

In March, Quinn withdrew the name of former Rep. Careen Gordon from consideration for a paid position on the Prisoner Review Board after receiving withering criticism.

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