Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Democrat who is in a tough campaign against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner at the present time, is being investigated for alleged wrongdoing involving the creation of a program just before Quinn’s election in 2010 and the program’s funding. Though United States Attorney James Lewis previously asked a bipartisan state commission to stop talking to witnesses who were reviewing a critical state audit of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, the intense investigation is continuing, according to the Chicago Tribune on Monday. The timing of the continuing investigation which questions Quinn’s ethics is horrendous for Quinn as it is just weeks before the midterm election. Basically, it has turned into a nightmare that is threatening Quinn’s political future.
Auditor General William Holland scrutinized an incredible $54.5 million that Quinn and his people put into an agency. There are those, including political contender Rauner, who say that the sudden massive amount of money in Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program was nothing more than a slush fund designed to increase voting by Democrats four years ago. Gov. Quinn has said that the purpose of the program was to assist with fighting high crime in Chicago and nearby suburbs.
At the time, Quinn received very good press from the initiative. However, after scrutiny of the program, its alleged lack of effectiveness, and a close look at which communities benefited from the hugely funded program, the good press headed far south for Quinn. Presently, there are many more people, than simply Bruce Rauner, thinking that the program and its huge cash was all a political move on Pat Quinn’s part to get much-needed votes in communities known for a huge Democrat population. Democrat politician Quinn, incidentally, won the close and contentious election in 2010.
The Legislative Audit Commission started its hearings after an accusatory report came out in February regarding the program and the massive funds attached to it. In July, it was asked that the commission stop looking into the matter for 90 days because of some federal grand jury probe. Yet, Quinn’s former chief of staff, Jack Lavin, was among former state workers who had his emails subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.
On Monday, Lewis, along with Sen. Jason Barickman and Rep Frank Mautino – who are members of the commission – went over the latest developments in the case. With Lewis having no other requests for the commission, the scheduled hearing will move forth, taking place on Oct. 8 in Chicago, a date that was targeted months ago, according to ABC News. This means the political firestorm with severe accusations of wrongdoing continues just before the Nov. election which, naturally, Gov. Quinn would not have wanted.
At issue is the determination of how Quinn and his political ilk handed out the huge amounts of money for this questionable program in which Quinn is being accused of distributing funds for political advancement from the community-recipients of the massive payouts attached to the program. Illinois has a sordid history of unethical governors. Ex-Gov. George Ryan was recently released from prison for wrongdoing. Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is currently incarcerated for wrongdoing.