Quantcast Corruption? Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Under Two Investigations « Republican Governors Association

Corruption? Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Under Two Investigations

“Yesterday, a lawyer for Governor Pat Quinn’s administration admitted in court that it is under an ongoing Inspector General investigation for allegedly ‘filling hundreds of positions’ at the Department of Transportation. This comes on top of another investigation over Quinn’s alleged  ‘political slush fund,’ the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Illinois has had it with corruption and governors who think they are above the law. Illinoisans deserve better.” – RGA  Communications Director Gail Gitcho

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Yesterday It Was Discovered The Quinn Administration Was Under Investigation By A State Illinois Inspector General Over “Hiring Practices”

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“An Attorney Representing Gov. Pat Quinn’s Administration Publicly Acknowledged Tuesday An Ongoing Investigation By Illinois’ Inspector General Of Hiring Practices Under The One-Term Democrat.”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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“The Topic Came Up At A Status Hearing In A Civil Case In Front Of The U.S. District Court In Chicago.”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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“Attorney Michael Shakman Asked In A Motion Last Week For An Investigation Into Quinn’s Hiring Practices.”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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“Shakman, Who Spearheaded A Decades-Long Court Case Leading To Bans On Political Hiring, Cited In His Filing A Better Government Association Report That Said Illinois’ Department Of Transportation Skirted Rules In Filling Hundreds Of Positions.”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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In Court, “U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier Asked Quinn Administration Attorney Brent Stratton Whether Court Documents Alluding To An Inspector General’s Investigation Were Accurate.”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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“‘That’s Our Understanding That’s Correct,’ Stratton Responded. ‘It Is Our Understanding There Is An Ongoing Investigation.’”  (Michael Tarm, “Gov. Quinn’s Lawyer Acknowledges Inspector Probe,” The Associated Press, 4/29/14)

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Quinn Administration Also Under Investigation Over His Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, Likened To A “Political Slush Fund”

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“A Criminal Grand Jury Has Launched A Probe Into Gov. Pat Quinn’s Troubled Anti-Violence Program —  Once Likened To ‘A Political Slush Fund’ — Delivering A Major Blow To The Democrat As He Seeks Re-Election This Fall.”  (Natasha Korecki, “Criminal Probe Of Quinn Anti-Violence Plan Rocks Governor’s Race,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/30/14)

“On Tuesday, The Quinn Administration Turned Over 1,000 Documents Pertaining To The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative To The Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Following A Subpoena From Her Office.”  (Natasha Korecki, “Criminal Probe Of Quinn Anti-Violence Plan Rocks Governor’s Race,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/30/14)

Subpoena Seeks “Records Tied To The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative — Including Those For The Chicago Area Project.” “The request was issued to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity on March 19 and sought records tied to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative — including those for the Chicago Area Project, a program tied to the husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.”  (Natasha Korecki, “Criminal Probe Of Quinn Anti-Violence Plan Rocks Governor’s Race,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/30/14)

Subpoena Seeks “Extensive Information.” “The subpoena, however, is not limited to that Chicago Area Project, but asks for extensive information about the overall anti-violence program, including ‘files, notes, memos and correspondence pertaining to all grants,’ documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times through the Freedom of Information Act show.”  (Natasha Korecki, “Criminal Probe Of Quinn Anti-Violence Plan Rocks Governor’s Race,” Chicago Sun-Times, 4/30/14)

In February, The Illinois’ Auditor General Found Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Deficient

The Illinois Auditor General Released A Report Criticizing Quinn’s Ill-Conceived $55 Million Violence Prevention Program That He Launched Shortly Before He Faced Reelection In 2010. “A state audit released Tuesday criticized the spending and management practices of a $55 million, taxpayer-funded anti-violence program for Chicago and Cook County that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn launched in 2010 as he was engaged in a tough election campaign.” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “State Audit Criticizes Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program,” The Chicago Tribune, 2/26/14)

The Program Suffered From “Pervasive Deficiencies” And Failed To Target Many Of The Most Violent Communities. “A $54.5 million program meant to cut gang violence in Chicago left out some of the most violent communities and failed to account for how the money was spent, according to a critical audit report released this week.  The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, or NRI, which was highly touted by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, suffered from what the state auditor general’s report calls “pervasive deficiencies” in “planning, implementation and management” of the program.” (Scott Zamost and Drew Griffin, “Chicago Anti-Violence Program Didn’t Do Much, Audit Finds,” CNN, 2/26/14)

Groups That Received The Funding Were Not Chosen In An Independent Manner, But Handpicked By Chicago Alderman. “The report by Auditor General William Holland said the program was ‘hastily implemented,’ failed to target some of the highest-crime neighborhoods in Chicago and relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen and community organizers rather than a more objective process to select which community organizations should get funding.” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “State Audit Criticizes Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program,” The Chicago Tribune, 2/26/14)

Quinn’s Administration Failed To Ensure That The Groups Selected By The Aldermen For Funding Were Best Suited To Perform The Work, And That Their Selection Was Free Of Conflicts Of Interest. “Holland’s audit raised questions about the process that gave aldermen a hand in recommending organizations that should serve as lead agencies to receive money. The authority ‘failed to conduct its due diligence to document that the decisions related to the selection of lead agencies were free of any conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest or that the agencies selected were the best entities to provide the needed services,’ the audit said.” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “State Audit Criticizes Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program,” The Chicago Tribune, 2/26/14)

Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Nothing More Than A Taxpayer Funded Reelection Effort

Quinn Launched The Program 30-Days Before The November 2010 Election. “Last week, Illinois Auditor General William Holland slammed Quinn’s $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, an anti-crime program, that was launched 30 days before the 2010 general election, saying it was rushed into creation then and didn’t cover some of the highest crime areas of Chicago.” (Natasha Korecki, “GOP Leader Radogno Wants Feds To Probe Quinn’s Anti-Crime Program, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/3/14)

2010 Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady Called The Program A “$50 Million Slush Fund,” And Said It “Smacks Of Politics.” “‘This smacks of politics, Chicago politics,’ said Brady, who is running for governor in a four-way race in the March 18 Republican primary. Brady alleged that the program might have helped bring Democratic voters to the polls. ‘Well, there’s no question that he had a $50 million slush fund that he was implementing 30-plus days before the election.’” (Ray Long and Rick Pearson, “State Audit Criticizes Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program,” The Chicago Tribune, 2/26/14)

Illinois State Senator Matt Murphy: “A Governor Who’s Really Putting People First Doesn’t Take Tens Of Millions Of Taxpayer Dollars For His Own Political Slush Fund.”  (Charles Thomas, “Exclusive: Quinn Defends Anti-Violence Program,” ABC-7, 2/28/14)

Illinois State Representative David Reis: “This Is Nothing More Than Governor Quinn Using Taxpayer Dollars To Fund Precinct Walkers In Chicago.” (Rich Miller, “Republican Legislators Call For Criminal Probe Of Quinn Program,” The Capital Fax, 2/26/14)

Quinn Falsely Claimed No Money Was Allocated Before The 2010 Elections

Quinn Told Reporters That “There Was No Money Allocated At All Before The Election Of 2010.” “This week, Republican lawmakers called for an investigation, accusing the governor, who campaigned for election that summer, with using the grants to curry political favor.  ‘A governor who’s really putting people first doesn’t take tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for his own political slush fund,’ said State Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine.  ‘There was no money allocated at all before the election of 2010. That didn’t happen until after the election,’ said Gov. Quinn.” (Charles Thomas, “Exclusive: Quinn Defends Anti-Violence Program,” ABC-7, 2/28/14)

But Illinois’ Auditor General Contradicts Quinn, Stating Quinn’s Administration Signed Contracts With 23 Groups On October 15, 2010, Promising Each Of Them $300,000. “But what the governor said in his own defense was not true. According to Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland, Quinn’s administration signed contracts with 23 local groups on October 15th, about three weeks before election day.  Each of the groups, hand-picked by Chicago aldermen, were promised about $300,000 for a total of around $7 million.  ‘That is allocating money,’ Auditor General Holland emphatically said yesterday about the awarding of state contracts.” (Rich Miller, “Quinn; Reboletti; Frese,” The Capitol Fax, 3/4/14)

A 16-Year-Old Gang Member Employed By The Quinn Program Was Killed By Another Youth During A Botched Robbery

Jermalle Brown And Douglas Bufford Were Both Gang Members Hired As Part Of Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program, And Were Paid $8.50 An Hour To Hand Out Anti-Violence Pamphlets In Their Neighborhood. “Both Jermalle Brown and Douglas Bufford were gang members hired to play a small role in helping combat violence on the South Side through a program hatched by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.  Paid $8.50 an hour with taxpayer funds to hand out anti-violence pamphlets in their South Shore neighborhood, the two low-income teens were part-time foot soldiers in the governor’s $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a program he once described as ‘a comprehensive and concerted effort to keep our young people safe, off the streets and in school.’” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

While On The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Payroll, Bufford And Brown Broke Into A Home In 2012.  Bufford Was Shot In The Back Of The Head With A Shotgun, And Brown Is Charged With His Murder. “At the same time they were on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative payroll, Brown, then 19, and Bufford, 16, allegedly broke into a Grand Crossing home in July 2012 with one other man and announced a robbery in what Chicago Police believe was a gang-related crime. It’s not clear, based on court and police records, what happened next. But Bufford was fatally shot in the back of the head with a shotgun, and Brown and an associate now face murder charges tied to the shooting.” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

Bufford And Brown, Both Members Of The Gangster Disciples Street Gang, Forced Themselves Into The Apartment Of A 16-Year-Old Rival Gang Member. “The shooting that claimed Bufford’s life was rooted in gang violence.  Brown and the other man charged in Bufford’s murder, Anthony Hull, were playing basketball in a park on July 15, 2012, when Bufford showed up and asked them to follow him, witnesses told police.  The trio — members of a Gangster Disciples faction — allegedly went to the apartment of a 16-year-old gang rival in the 1400 block of East 73rd Street, police said.  They forced themselves into the apartment, police said. But during the alleged home invasion, Bufford was shot in the back of the head with a 20-gauge shotgun, police said.” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

Area Residents Were Baffled And Outraged That Individuals Like Bufford And Brown Were Placed On The State’s Payroll. “Just days after the fatal home invasion on July 25, 2012, Bufford’s murder was brought to the Quinn administration’s attention by an incredulous South Shore activist, prompting the now-defunct state agency charged with administering the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to scurry into damage control.  ‘First, let me begin by expressing my utter disbelief [t]hat your agency would spend money trying to make scholars out of young adults who terrorize our neighborhoods daily,’ South Shore resident Gina Olson wrote in an email to an official in the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.  ‘The South Shore community [has] some fine outstanding young adults and youth who are not criminals. Why aren’t these kind of people selected to represent the South Shore Chicago?’ Olson wrote in the email, which was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

“‘So Many Youth Going Away To College This Year Could Not Find Jobs For The Summer. But Some Conglomerate Of Organizations In South Shore Employ People Like The Guy In This Link With Our Tax Money,’ She Wrote, Alluding To An Attached Online News Report That Featured Brown’s Booking Photo. ‘I’m Furious About This.’” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

The Organization That Hired Bufford And Brown, The Black United Fund Of Illinois, Was Given $2.05 Million In Taxpayer Funds, At The Direction Of Then-Alderman Sandi Jackson. “The decision to hire Brown and Bufford belonged to the Black United Fund of Illinois, a nonprofit that Quinn’s administration put in charge of doling out $2.05 million in Neighborhood Recovery Initiative funds to an array of community groups in South Shore. Former Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) recommended the group to the Quinn administration.” (Dave McKinney and Frank Main, “‘Thug’ In Quinn Anti-Violence Program Accused In Teen’s Murder,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

Sandi Jackson Was Recently Sentenced To 12 Months In Federal Prison For Misusing Campaign Funds. “Saying he used his campaign fund as “a personal piggy bank,” a federal judge sentenced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to 2 ½ years in prison for misusing $750,000 in campaign money to fund a lavish lifestyle. And, despite defense pleas to spare his wife from also going to prison, Judge Amy Berman Jackson (who is not related to the couple) sentenced former Ald. Sandi Jackson to 12 months in prison.” (“Both Jacksons Going To Prison For Misusing Campaign Funds,” CBS, 8/14/13)

Background Checks Were Not Consistently Conducted, Felons Were Employed By The Initiative To Work With Children

Adults Working For The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Were Required To Undergo Background Checks, But In 38 Percent Of Cases Background Checks Were Not Conducted. “Required background checks were not always completed on the adults that worked in the NRI program. During our site testing we found that 38 percent (94 of 245) of the required background checks were not completed or not maintained in the agency files.” (William G. Holland, “Performance Audit – State Moneys Provided To The Illinois Violence Prevention Authority For The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative,” Office Of The Auditor General, 2/14, p.68)

The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Hired Individuals Who Had Been Convicted Of Offenses Such As: Aggravated Financial Identification Theft, Armed Robbery, Theft, Burglary And Prostitution, Among Others. “However, while the grant agreements did not prohibit hiring the adults for other offenses, we did see instances where staff were hired that had convictions in their background check such as: aggravated financial identification theft; possession of a controlled substance; armed robbery; neglect of a child; battery; theft; burglary; and, prostitution.” (William G. Holland, “Performance Audit – State Moneys Provided To The Illinois Violence Prevention Authority For The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative,” Office Of The Auditor General, 2/14, p.86)

Auditor Report: “We Would Note That These Adults Hired In The NRI Program Are To Be Acting In A Mentoring Role And Working With Youth.” (William G. Holland, “Performance Audit – State Moneys Provided To The Illinois Violence Prevention Authority For The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative,” Office Of The Auditor General, 2/14, p.86)

Illinois Legislators Called For An Investigation Into The Program

The Illinois Senate Minority Leader Called For An Investigation Into The Program. “State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, on Monday called for a federal inquiry into Gov. Pat Quinn’s $54 million neighborhood crime program that was slammed by the state’s auditor general last week and likened to a “political slush fund,” by one Republican.” (Natasha Korecki, “GOP Leader Radogno Wants Feds To Probe Quinn’s Anti-Crime Program, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/3/14)

State Senator Tim Bivins, A 32-Year Law Enforcement Veteran, Says The Auditor General Report “Is The Kind Of Information Indictments Are Made Of.” “Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) said, ‘I’ve spent 32 years in law enforcement and the information I’m looking at is the kind of information indictments are made of. This warrants in my estimation a criminal investigation.’” (Rich Miller, “Republican Legislators Call For Criminal Probe Of Quinn Program,” The Capital Fax, 2/26/14)

Auditor General Turned Investigation Over To Federal And State Investigators

“. . . Auditor General William Holland turned over his audit of Gov. Pat Quinn’s $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program to federal investigators and to the state executive inspector general.”  (Dave McKinney, “Auditor General Gives Report On Quinn Program To Investigators,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)

“The Move By Holland, Announced Friday By House Minority Leader Jim Durkin’s Office, Follows Last Week’s Release Of A Blistering Assessment Of Quinn’s Anti-Violence Program That The Governor Launched One Month Before His 2010 Election.”  (Dave McKinney, “Auditor General Gives Report On Quinn Program To Investigators,” Chicago Sun-Times, 3/7/14)


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