Prison guards hired amid budget mess

The Associated Press has learned that Illinois hired 208 new prison guards just weeks after Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced layoffs because of budget cuts.

The Associated Press has learned that Illinois hired 208 new prison guards just weeks after Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced layoffs because of budget cuts.

The Corrections Department hired the officers in October for the Thomson Correctional Center, in northwestern Illinois. That’s according to state records reviewed by the AP.

The hires came as Blagojevich was saying the state budget had a $2 billion deficit. He laid off 85 employees and closed 20 state attractions.

A corrections spokesman says the officers were hired to staff Thomson when Blagojevich closes the Pontiac prison to save money.

A Blagojevich spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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