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Sources: State moves to fire prison official with criminal past

Xadrian McCraven

Xadrian McCraven

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Updated: January 19, 2014 12:04PM

The state is moving to fire a $111,432-a-year Illinois prison official with a lengthy criminal history in the wake of Chicago Sun-Times reports that revealed his past, sources said Tuesday.

Xadrian R. McCraven was placed on paid leave Monday afternoon, said Tom Shaer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. A “pre-disciplinary hearing” is set for Thursday under the terms of McCraven’s union contract, Shaer said.

Shaer wouldn’t say why McCraven is being disciplined or whether the department plans to fire him. But sources said Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration wants to fire McCraven, a senior adviser to the IDOC chief of parole.

“In the hearing, the Department of Corrections will provide its reasoning for seeking discipline against the employee, and the employee can provide his rebuttal,” said Shaer, adding that the hearing will not be open to the public. “If termination is pursued, an employee is suspended without pay pending the termination process.”

McCraven declined to comment, as did a spokesman for his union, AFSCME Council 31.

McCraven, 44, of Chicago, has worked for the now-defunct Chicago Housing Authority Police Department; the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation; the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and IDOC — even though he has been arrested “at least” 24 times on charges including arson, gun possession, attempted robbery, drug possession and aggravated assault, federal court records show.

In 1987, he was convicted of disorderly conduct; in 1989, he was convicted of illegal possession of a handgun, and in 1998, he was found guilty of reckless conduct in connection with a domestic battery case involving a fiancee, according to those records.

McCraven tried to join the Chicago Police Department in 1993, but he was rejected because of his criminal history. He unsuccessfully argued in federal court that those arrests shouldn’t have counted against him because they had been expunged.

Before working for the state prison system, McCraven worked for DCFS. During his time with the child-welfare agency, he briefly was detailed to the IDOC “intelligence and investigations division” between August and October 2011, according to one of his job applications.

DCFS fired McCraven last year after the agency’s inspector general alleged he was “writing and responding to hundreds of lewd and inappropriate emails” while at work and falsified a DCFS job application.

McCraven filed a union grievance and sued to get his job back.

A federal judge dismissed his lawsuit in March but allowed him to amend it. Instead, McCraven and his union struck a settlement with Quinn’s administration. In June, McCraven dropped the grievance and accepted a 10-day suspension, received six months’ back pay and was transferred to his current job at corrections.

McCraven has made $1,700 in campaign contributions to elected officials including former Gov. Rod Blagojevich; state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago); state Sen. William Delgado (D-Chicago); Cook County Commissioner Edwin Reyes (D-Chicago), and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.). In 2003, he was among thousands of politically connected candidates listed in a then-secret database of people seeking jobs, transfers or promotions in Blagojevich’s administration, records show.

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