Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
Updated: February 26, 2014 11:55AM
SPRINGFIELD — The state’s top auditor slammed a $54.5 million anti-violence program launched by Gov. Pat Quinn one month before the 2010 election, leading to partisan cries Tuesday for a criminal investigation into what Republicans called a Quinn-controlled political “slush fund.”
Auditor General William Holland described the governor’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative as “hastily implemented” and said it didn’t target some of the most crime-prone neighborhoods in Chicago.
Holland found that Quinn’s administration didn’t “adequately monitor” how state grant dollars were spent or on whom; community organizations that hired people with those funds weren’t maintaining time sheets; and city aldermen dictated where funding was to be steered.
“Our audit of the NRI program found pervasive deficiencies in [the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority's] planning, implementation and management of the NRI program,” Holland’s audit concluded, referring to the agency Quinn put in charge of running the program.
Republicans seized on Holland’s report, calling for a criminal probe by federal investigators and suggesting that some of the findings could rise to the level of impeachable offenses by Quinn.
“There’s a whole host of questions that really make one wonder how this could be ethical or legal,” said state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who was Quinn’s 2010 gubernatorial opponent.
“Clearly, the governor implemented a plan 30 days before the election that was a $50 million slush fund. It smacks of promises made in areas that he needed good turnout to win,” Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times.