Xadrian McCracken may be the poster child of the dysfunction of Illinois government. Fired last year from a state job, McCracken took a senior position in July with the Illinois Department of Corrections, earning $110,000 a year. He secured the position advising on parole policy in spite of a criminal history with “at least” 24 criminal arrests.
McCracken’s criminal history includes arrests for arson, illegal gun possession, attempted robbery, drug possession and aggravated assault. He plead guilty to a weapohttp://www.suntimes.com/23203709-761/2-dozen-busts-no-problem-for-110000-a-year-illinois-prison-official.htmlns charge in 1989 and was found guilty in 1999 for a charge related to domestic battery assault.
He has worked for IL state government since 2000. Prior to that, McCracken had sought to become a Chicago police officer. His application was rejected after a criminal background check. McCracken sued the department, arguing that the background check was racial discrimination.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys threw out McCracken’s suit, noting in his ruling that the police background investigation found McCracken to be a known “drug dealer, gang member and supplier of guns to other gang members.”
Keys’ ruling was in August 2000, the same year McCracken went to work as a child protection worker with the state’s Department of Children and Family Services. He has been in and out of state government since then.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that, in 2003, McCracken’s name was listed on a secret database, kept by the Blagojevich administration, of politically-connected individuals eligible for state jobs or promotions.
In Illinois, political connections really can overcome anything. Even a long criminal rap-sheet can’t bar someone from a lucrative state job.