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Buried on the 4th of July

Monday, Jul 7, 2014

* The Quinn administration leaked two, big corruption-related stories on the 4th of July. Here’s the Tribune on July 4th

A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for emails of key players in Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s troubled $54.5 million anti-violence program, including the former head of the program and two former ranking members of Quinn’s administration.

The subpoena, provided by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune records request, is the latest public sign of federal prosecutors’ interest in a program also under scrutiny by Cook County authorities and a state legislative panel.

The May 13 grand jury document sought emails dated back to the beginning of 2010, the year Quinn ran for his first full term as governor and launched the Chicago-area program in the closing weeks of his campaign. Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said the administration has “zero tolerance for mismanagement, fraud or abuse” and that the governor has directed agencies to fully cooperate with authorities.

Emails and other electronic records were sought for Barbara Shaw, the retired former head of the anti-violence grant program; Toni Irving, a former deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office; and Malcolm Weems, the former director of the Department of Central Management Services who served in the governor’s budget office. The subpoena also sought emails for two other officials, Barbara King and Reshma Desai, who have worked in the agency that took over the program.

The AP reports that the subpoenas were from a federal grand jury in Springfield.

* Also from the AP on July 4th

Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered a moratorium on political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation and is requiring executive-level staff in every state agency to undergo training about proper hiring practices.

The Chicago Democrat’s actions come amid questions about whether state jobs were improperly filled based on clout rather than qualifications.

The Associated Press obtained copies of memos sent Thursday by Quinn’s attorney to IDOT leadership and the heads of all agencies, boards and commissions.

According to the memos, Quinn also is ordering an outside audit of all IDOT political hires to determine if the positions were properly filled.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Anyone know how long the term of the grand jury is?


  2. - Bob Hicks - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Anybody know with Quinn administration is going to release IDOT OEIG report on hiring that Gov’s Office has been reviewing since June 7? That ought to be a dandy!


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    “Tickets please, tickets for the bus…”

    Quinn has 4 months of hearing about this. He saved the weekend, but US Attorney subpoenas are not a one day thing.

    Plus the GA hearings…

    Who in their right mind will give any testing to legislators with read hard core subpoenas out there looking for testimony to either confirm or seem less truthful to facts.

    The slow churn begins.


  4. - Mason born - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    I just hope this isn’t a three for three. Be a bit embarassing to hav three govs convicted.

    It seems to me this election will be over if quinn loses the incompetent but honest persona.


  5. - walker - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Going to be some sacrificial lambs, along the way.


  6. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Helps explain how Ms. Shaw found her voice rather quickly. Could indicate she got the ‘coveted’ first to spill reward.


  7. - Regnad Kcin - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    The irony of Quinn, the former patronage ghost payroller with IDOT in the Walker administration, now having to endure an investigation of possible political hiring at IDOT in his own administration is not lost on some of us.


  8. - More irony - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:09 am:

    Kinda funny to have Blago’s old spokesman waving the flag of integrity and zero tolerance for the quinnsters


  9. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Starting to look like there may be a bit of fire behind all that smoke.


  10. - Apocolypse Now - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    The grist mill slowing grinds on, with nuggets of damaging information on Quinn.


  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Springfield is going to get shaken up with, or without, Rauner - isn’t it?


  12. - too obvious - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Serious stuff for Quinn, but pales in comparison to the RICO case Bruce Rauner’s firm settled a few years ago involving alleged nursing home racketeering in Ohio.


  13. - Rob Roy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Just delete them, destroy the hard drive, fire the company that backs them up and everything will be just fine….


  14. - Black Ivy - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    As far as the federal subpoenas go, please use any means necessary to get at the truth. $54.5 millinion dollars is too much money to mismanagement and somebody, perhaps Governor Quinn, must fall on his/her sword. A moratorium on political hiring at IDOT? That’s like asking Donald Trump to be humble. It’ll never happen and it is a waste of time. It is the Governor’s Office that rubber-stamps many of these State positions. What we need is a purging of the Governor’s Office. Isn’t that what Quinn recommended in 2010. Why not Rauner now?!?


  15. - Stooges - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    “…questions about whether state jobs were improperly filled… at IDOT. IDOT positions haven’t been properly filled since before 2003 and Blago took control. Quinn never did fumigate as he promised, he just kept on with business as usual. IDOT has hired only a token number of engineers and technicians in over ten years, serious brain drain in a highly technical agency. Hundreds of non-technical political people have swelled the ranks, and most have found safe haven in the union.


  16. - Hotel Ibiza - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Again! Where’s the $54.5 millinion dollars?

    Quinn never did fumigated the Illinois Tollway as he promised either. Layer upon layer of very well paid patronage positions at that agency.


  17. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    What, the Administration knew nothing of the political hires at IDOT? Everyone in Springfield knew about them.


  18. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Nice headline, Rich!


  19. - 4 percent - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Now that the feds have issued subpoenas, I see lots of people taking the 5th and refusing to testify in front of the Audit Commission. Bad headlines for Quinn but protecting their flanks.


  20. - Toure's Latte - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Damage Control on this should be well underway and fall guys should be lined up. C’mon, is anybody at the helm here?


  21. - CirularFiringSquad - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Does that hang and “Out of Business” sign on the Jumpin Jason’s Audit Commission Circus?


  22. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    The e-mails are likely to lead nowhere. Anyone that gets a few hundred a week knows that most messages are not worth keeping or reading twice. It is highly doubtful that anyone would write in an e-mail “Hey Bob, don’t forget to do that illegal thing we talked about last week.”

    E-mail trails can tell you that on a certain date two people exchanged messages about a particular topic or mentioned a particular name. I’m not sure how that helps investigators in this instance.

    But I have to admit it’s rather entertaining to see some of the Gov’s staff (or former staff) sweating it out on this issue. Lotsa luck dealing with the feds. You are likely to need it.


  23. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    “You know me.” Does everybody remember that warm, fuzzy, and reassuring campaign closer ad from Quinn’s last election campaign? Guess we didn’t know you after all, Pat.


  24. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    == It is highly doubtful that anyone would write in an e-mail “Hey Bob, don’t forget to do that illegal thing we talked about last week.”==

    Dupage Dave, heh, were you on vacation when the devastating College of DuPage email disclosure was discussed here in great detail the past coupla weeks?


  25. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    big difference between stupid and illegal, although as I have said in the past the predominant definition around here of “corruption” is “things I don’t like”


  26. - Stoney - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Political hiring at all state agencies should be investigated.
    I worked at a small state agency before retiring last year. When front line workers left they were rarely replaced in a timely manner, if at all. Management chairs didn’t even get warm before they were filled by someone with little knowledge of their job.


  27. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Responsa- The College of DuPage situation was different I think. The blowhard chief executive of the college was bragging about his ability to bring in the bucks.

    He admitted that the proposed project was not really needed and was merely a way to bring in $20 million he could brag about. But I don’t think that even approaches anything illegal.

    If you have evidence that anything criminal was done I’m sure you’ve shared it with the authorities.


  28. - Responsa - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Geesh, DPD. My point, as I am sure most people here figured out, is that people do in fact put dumb things in emails and hit send, that can get them in trouble. If your handle weren’t DUPAGE DAVE, I wouldn’t even have written the goofy comment. :)


  29. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    “big difference between stupid and illegal,”

    Very true. But by not fumigating and leaving all the Blago people in positions of authority you increase the odds of getting both.


  30. - Skirmisher - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 5:32 pm:

    Huh? More honest hiring training? Seems to me that we all got Rutan training until we were sick of it a couple of governors ago. Do we really need to revisit how the State is supposed to conduct lawful hiring??


  31. - Soccertease - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:56 pm:

    Seems to me things “buried” on weekends and holidays is such an old trick that the media should highlight the news on the next business day, but they don’t. We’re too busy.


  32. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Jul 8, 14 @ 8:41 am:

    Stooges & Hotel Ibiza -

    As Rich has pointed out numerous times, the reason Quinn has been moving at glacial speed to de-fumigate is nearly every “Blago hack” actually has a patron(s) still active in the General Assembly, local government, etc. Blago may be gone, but the patron(s) are still there.


  33. - What has been hidden? - Tuesday, Jul 8, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    I suggest reading this article.

    http://www.bnd.com/2014/07/07/3291270/metro-east-legislator-emails-could.html?sp=/99/166/


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