Governor Pat Quinn Defends Appointing Influential Donors' Daughter To Six-Figure Post

07/29/2011 08:40 am ET | Updated Sep 27, 2011

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday appointed attorney Jennifer Burke, daughter of influential 14th Ward Alderman Ed Burke and state Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, to a lucrative, six-figure post within state government.

Though the Burkes have loaned $200,000 to Quinn's gubernatorial campaign and donated another $52,000 to the governor since he was sworn into office in early 2009, according to the Chicago Tribune, he claims those contributions had nothing to do with his appointment of Jennifer.

"I mean, If you look at her qualifications, she’s very, very well qualified," Quinn said Thursday, according to the Tribune. "I look at everybody, men and women, based on their qualifications, their honesty and their ability. … There’s no question my appointees meet all those qualifications."

Jennifer Burke, 41, has most recently worked with the city as an assistant corporation counsel supervisor, earning an annual salary of $99,948. In her new position with the Illinois Pollution Control Board, she will earn considerably more than that -- a $117,043 salary, should she be confirmed by the state senate, according to an AP report.

Quinn declined to tell the AP whether he interviewed anyone else for the well-paying board position. Justice Burke, too, claimed the appointment was "absolutely not" connected to her family's financial support of the governor.