Comptroller Hynes says “No” to paying the governor’s bill.
Illinois’ chief financial officer said Monday his office would refuse to pay for the millions of dollars in flu vaccine that Gov. Rod Blagojevich ordered from Europe but never got federal approval to import, even though the state signed a contract.
In a letter to the governor’s chief of staff, state Comptroller Dan Hynes’ office said the lack of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to import the vaccine should let the state cancel the contract under a provision about “circumstances beyond its reasonable control.'’
The letter also notes that Illinois’ $2.5 million contract for 256,000 doses of flu vaccine was not submitted until Jan. 24 — three months after Blagojevich struck the deal to import the vaccine.
“In light of these facts … the Office of the Comptroller will refuse any requests for payment,'’ the letter said. Hynes spokesman Alan Henry said that if the vaccine suppliers still feel entitled to the money, they will have to sue the state.
Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said the governor’s office was looking into the letter and had no immediate comment.
Stay tuned for more.