* So far, at least, the Republicans on the Legislative Audit Commission have found nothing like a “smoking gun” to claim any illegal political actions by top-level Quinn administration officials on the governor’s anti-violence initiative. They have a couple thousand government e-mails, but nothing that shows anything spectacular.
So, they shifted gears a bit yesterday…
After Thursday’s vote, Barickman shifted focus to a cache of 2,300 NRI-related emails Quinn’s office turned over to the audit commission last Friday in response to a June 25 request.
Specifically, Barickman and Mautino asked for emails, letters and any memoranda related to the rollout and implementation of NRI between March 2010 through September 2012. The request targeted former Quinn chief of staff Jack Lavin, former Central Management Services director Malcolm Weems, former Quinn deputy chief of staff Toni Irving, former Quinn senior advisor Billy Ocasio, former Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley, former DCEO chief operating officer Andrew Ross, and Reshma Desai, the former director of grant programs for the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.
Barickman voiced concern “about the potential that the governor’s office didn’t fully comply with our request for emails,” noting Quinn’s office asserted “a blanket privilege claim” to withhold some documents, though the senator said he was uncertain about which documents may have been protected by the governor’s office.
Barickman also questioned whether the governor’s office may have “significantly limited their scope” in searching for emails “in a way that doesn’t comply with our original request.”
Notice that he said the “potential” that the governor’s office didn’t fully comply. The administration’s response…
“Those not provided on the disc were privileged attorney-client communications between state employees and state attorneys either seeking or providing legal advice,” Quinn spokeswoman Katie Hickey said.
The Republicans did mention Wednesday that it appeared former Quinn chief of staff Jack Lavin had forwarded some state e-mails regarding the initiative to a private e-mail account. But, again, it’s just wispy smoke.