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Feds taking a look

Thursday, May 1, 2014

* Auditor General Bill Holland forwarded his documents from his audit of Gov. Pat Quinn’s horribly botched anti violence program to the US Attorney in Springfield. That office then made a call to the comptroller in late March asking for some records

“We have been contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative,” spokesman Brad Hahn said following an inquiry from the Chicago Sun-Times political portal E&O. “There was a request for information, I can’t go into the nature of what they were looking for.”

The request was made on March 27th by phone, Hahn said.

“I can’t disclose the nature of the request from law enforcement, it’s a legal issue,” he said. “In keeping with the attorney general’s interpretation of FOIA, I can confirm we’ve been contacted by the U.S. Department of Justice.” […]

Sources with knowledge of the exchange said investigators asked for vendor information, copies of contracts and copies of signed checks tied to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


39 Comments
  1. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    Looks like some of those who were dismissed by their fellow commenters yesterday turned out to be correct. Perhaps a bit more civility and a bit less mocking is in order at times?

    To the post: this may not lead to any criminal charges. Hopefully it does not and everything was above board. But it makes sense to take look at, since that’s the only way to find out for certain.


  2. - Oneman - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Again, this all may be moot due to the poor record keeping…


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Do “Governors investigated by the Feds” come in threes?

    This is real. This is happening. This isn’t going away anytime soon.


  4. - Anon - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    I can’t imagine that this ends in indictments for anybody in the Quinn administration, but I could see problems ahead for Dorothy brown. I wonder if the money her husband received was reported properly to the irs?


  5. - RonOglesby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    At some point things catch up with you. The thing here is will it go all the way up. probably not. But someone (or multiple someones) need to be held accountable (by jailing)


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===Do “Governors investigated by the Feds” come in threes?===

    Fours.

    MSI.


  7. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Huh… Guess I was not crazy yesterday… I am telling you, this new tinfoil hat is amazing!
    To The Post:
    I do honestly feel bad about being vindicated. As I said before, this is our state. We all have pride and ownership. I know this is politics and it clearly helps my party of preference. But I certainly do not feel happy about it. I think now, when OW was giving advice during Rutherford interviews, it’s worth repeating. Get a lawyer… Because the questions are coming… Lawyer up.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===Fours===

    (Hits head on keyboard)

    …wow.

    The “bad” thing for Quinn is that the “guys down the street”, never comment on ongoing investigations, alleged targets, and when specifically these MAY close.

    Nothing good to salvage.


  9. - A guy... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    oopsy daisy. The best defense here is to self-testify to the highest levels of incompetence. Trouble is, it’s believable.


  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    The only thing Quinn can hope for here is that both investigations wrap up quickly as possible so he can deal with the outcomes as far from November as possible.

    But the timelines are out of his control. That’s a big card prosecutors are holding in Quinn’s campaign.


  11. - RNUG - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Worse case scenario, some deputy director or director will fall on their sword … as Rich said, MSI.


  12. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Maybe the obviously incompetent Quinn should just take himself off the ballot now while there is still time for Madigan to replace him on the ballot.


  13. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    I tend to agree that this is less about legal trouble for the governor than it is about political trouble. When folks have asked me why I think Rauner has the edge, this burgeoning scandal has been one major reason. It will be just too easy for Rauner to use this scandal.


  14. - Mr. Big Trouble - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    I have been accussed by some of being a bit slow on the uptick.. what is MSI?


  15. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    CC… Ask the last two Governors how they feel about the Feds poking around… This is legal trouble. When it comes to prosecution, they don’t lose many. It’s only an investigation, I get it. But it ain’t good.


  16. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Mr. Big Trouble - here’s a link to one story explaining some of the background and connections

    MSI Scandal Link to Aides of Edgar, Phillips Revealed - http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2000-08-24/news/0008240442_1_msi-co-conspirators-jim-edgar


  17. - Concerned Voter - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Maybe he should do a Rutherford and say I can’t talk about a pending federal investigation. Oh right, that didn’t work out so well for Dan. Bye Bye Pat.


  18. - Living in Machiaville - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Mr. BT, Edgar adminstraion contract/kickbacks/hanky-panky. Underlings fell on swo….got pushed on sword.


  19. - Sir Reel - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    This is just another case of paying “contractors” for little to no work. Nothing new here.

    Seriously, Quinn’s defense seems to be “crime is a problem” and “he had to do something fast.”

    I guess that excuses all.


  20. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    So, it’s a Super Trifecta. Just in time for the Derby.


  21. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Good thing that Gallup poll was already taken about how Illinoisans want to move, believe their government is corrupt, think their taxes are too high and is the worse place in the country to live.

    Illinois could just discover that there is a state ranking lower than 50 very soon.


  22. - Anon - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Wasn’t Blago under investigation when the voters re-elected him? I would never underestimate Illinois voters.


  23. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Would it be a first for even Illinois if Blagojevich/Quinn 2002 ends up as the number on the jail cell they share?

    Have we ever had a former Governor and his former Lt. Governor jailed at the same time?


  24. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Based upon the crack investigation done of Blago, we will hear nothing from the Feds until Quinn finishes his second term…


  25. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Not that this is getting serious, but word on the street has it that Squeezy has hired Dan Webb.


  26. - Tom Joad - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    It is a coincidence that Alverez now has leverage over Dorothy Brown’s thoughts of running for Governor?


  27. - Black Ivy - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    This Neighborhood Recovery Initiative wreaks of the very “quid pro quo” methods that Governor Pat Quinn regularly criticized Governor Rod Blagojevich of. At that time, he desperately needed to shore up the Black and Latino vote. To allow Chicago alderman to “manage” money in their respective wards is simply laughable…


  28. - TIs the season - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    Early release of prisoners, illegal E mails, resignation by chief of staff, That was 2010. Same type of stuff happening NOW, and SAME outcome. Quinn wins


  29. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    ===illegal E mails, resignation by chief of staff===

    Next to state investigators staking out an employee’s lunch time, that was the goofiest, overblown non-scandal in years.


  30. - TIs the season - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    I’ve lost track of how many individuals have been indicted for grant fraud, seems like it happens once a month. Only difference here is that TIS THE SEASON. I’m sure there’s more to come. It’s what happens during every election cycle.


  31. - Mason born - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Irony = losing this election because of the shenanigans you used to win the last election.


  32. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    –Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Quinn’s office hadn’t been contacted by federal officials.

    “If there is an inquiry, we fully support it,” she said in an emailed statement. “We have zero tolerance for any mismanagement at any state agency.”–

    Being tagged with “mismanagement” is the best-outcome hope of the Quinn team.

    Not having a great week over there.


  33. - RNUG - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    In all honesty, I don’t see any Federal charges coming out of it. There are others who have misspent federal grant money and all that has happened to them is a request (not honored) to return the misspent money; those people are still walking around free.

    This isn’t even about Federal money, just possible misuse of State funds.


  34. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    Anon 2:07 PM

    Blago won: (1) in the 6th year of a GOP Presidency (the Democrats took both houses of Congress); (2) the GOP opponent was underfunded and could be “tied in the public eye” to George Ryan; and (3) there was a 3rd party candidate who took 10% of the vote. Head to head in a non 6th year of a GOP Presidency and Blago may well have lost that race.


  35. - Walker - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 8:27 pm:

    I will be surprised if this becomes a Federal issue, rather than a state one. Beyond a cursory review triggered by a letter to DOJ from the Illinois GOP Congressional team.

    I’ve been wrong before, but I just don’t see the jurisdiction.


  36. - Oh Come On! - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 8:48 pm:

    Quinn benefited from two sleight of hand tricks in 2010.

    1) The “amicable divorce” from his running mate Scott Lee Cohen. The pawnbroker would have been electoral poison in the general. Still like to know what type of persuasion was applied.

    2) A taxpayer funded “Get Out the Vote” effort in targeted African American wards and precincts.

    What can Brown do for you?


  37. - liandro - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:09 pm:

    This thing has had me angry every since I heard about it. I hope someone digs deep into what happened.

    Party loyalty may convince many that this isn’t a final straw; that all the patronage, and rushed “aid” funds, were just normal political maneuvers. I just can’t relate, but I know it happens. My question (fear?) is: will the “middle” care? Blago’s re-election snookered enough to win. Are horrible management and shady ethics enough to beat the state’s lean this time?

    Some very important causes (to me) were twisted in all this. It burns me.


  38. - Elder - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:29 pm:

    If I remember correctly, this happened when Daley was trying hard to win the Olympics, only to see his dreams destroyed by the video of the horrific beating death of the student on Chicago’s South Side. Everyone was aghast, there were stimulus funds, and Quinn rushed to put $$$ on the street. I was close enough to the non-profits who profited to know that LOTS of good was done, there were efforts at fiscal control, but the whole thing was fast and sloppy and had a DEFINITE political advantage for Quinn.


  39. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 1, 14 @ 9:30 pm:

    –I’ve been wrong before, but I just don’t see the jurisdiction.–

    I think the federales can always find jurisdiction if they set their minds to it. Pop something in the mail, use a land-line phone, wire transfers, taxes, etc.


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* Quinn administration accuses Rep. of "political stunt" that would violate state and federal laws
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