Confirmation of Convicted Union Boss on Hold in IL Senate

Two months after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich nominated him for Director of the state labor department, Michael Fenger’s confirmation is on hold in the state Senate.  But that hasn’t stopped the Rockford-area union boss, convicted in 1997 of slashing the tires of a non-union truck, from setting up shop as the acting director.
Fenger was the business manager of Intl. Bhd. Of Elec. Wrkrs. Local 364 when several militants surrounded the truck of a non-union worker as he tried to leave a Wal-Mart construction site.  With the truck stopped, two police officers saw Fenger use a five-in. awl to puncture all four tires. Sterling police were videotaping the protest and recorded him puncturing at least one of them.  Fenger denied any involvement in the tire-slashing, but later pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges of property damage and reckless conduct.  
The Senate Appointments Committee has cancelled meetings on all of Blagojevich’s appointments, including Fenger.  According to the governor’s office, if the Senate doesn’t act on Fenger’s nomination in 60 session days, his appointment will automatically be ratified.  That could leave Fenger as acting labor director until next srping. [Rockford Register Star 3/21/03]