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Gov defends reappointing Corrections chief

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:41 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is defending his decision to reappoint the state's Department of Corrections even after complaints from workers and Republicans about ethics, crowding and understaffing.

The Democratic governor told reporters Wednesday he has confidence in S.A. "Tony" Godinez (goh-DEE'-nez). The Senate must confirm the appointment.

Quinn reappointed Godinez this for a second two-year term. He took over in 2011.

He's overseeing contentious prison closures amid budget cuts despite record overcrowding. He was named in an ethics complaint for hiring an unqualified administrator. Prison guards complain of a spike in violence and several Republican senators met with him last month to voice concerns.

GOP Sen. David Luechtefeld (LUK'-tih-feld) of Okawville (OH'-kuh-vil) says he understands Godinez has a difficult job but would not commit Wednesday to voting in favor of reappointment.

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