SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal court-appointed monitor has recommended that the Illinois Department of Transportation clean up its hiring rules.

A preliminary report was filed Wednesday in a lawsuit by anti-patronage activist Michael Shakman against IDOT. It targets previous administrations' improper hiring of politically connected candidates.

Monitor Noelle Brennan's report says IDOT should write more accurate job descriptions and clearly identify each position that is supposed to be filled without political considerations. Those are known as "Rutan" positions.

The report says IDOT should freeze hiring into political posts that are also protected by unions. Union affiliation complicates firing.

It says current state officials have objected to a freeze because of the urgent need to hire IDOT staffers.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office said in a statement the Republican is "committed to reversing" illegal hiring.

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