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Of cronies and contracts

Gov. Pat Quinn leaves office in a few days, but a contract he arranged for a crony will live on.

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, a publicly supported Chicago-state agency that owns the White Sox stadium, recently hired Quinn’s campaign manager Lou Bertuca as its new director. The 30-year-old Bertuca has no experience in professional sports, but no problem. With Quinn what matters is who you know.

Quinn’s four appointees on the seven-person board supported Beruca’s hiring; the three board members appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel voted no.

Not only is Bertuca getting a $160,000-a year-gig, he is receiving a virtually iron-clad two-year contract. It would take a unanimous vote of the board to fire him. And if he were fired, the contract stipulates that he would be paid for the entire contract amount.

Those two extraordinary provisions benefit only Bertuca, and not the public. His predecessor could have been fired with a majority vote, and he would have gotten just two months severance.

If this is Bertuca’s reward for managing a losing campaign, what in the world would he have gotten if Quinn had won re-election?