* The AP rewrites the Sun-Times story from yesterday…
Emails turned over to a legislative panel have raised questions about the role of politics in Gov. Pat Quinn’s defunct anti-violence program that’s under federal investigation, according to a published report Wednesday.
Exchanges between former Quinn aides appear to show a suburban Chicago mayoral race factored into determining which service providers got money through the 2010 Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Quinn started the approximately $55 million program to help curb neighborhood violence. Earlier this year, state auditors detailed problems with mismanagement and misspending, and top Republicans claimed it was a political slush fund to help Quinn ahead of a close November 2010 election.
Notice how the AP labels the program as “the 2010 Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.”
But hold on a second. The e-mail exchange actually happened in 2011 - which is, of course, after the 2010 election. You have to read further down in the AP story to see a mention of 2011.
Just days before the 2010 gubernatorial election, two of Gov. Pat Quinn’s top lieutenants were talking about expanding a controversial anti-crime grant program to East St. Louis. […]
Emails obtained by the News-Democrat show that the former head of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, Barbara Shaw, wrote to the head of another state agency about expanding the program to downstate, including East St. Louis.
The email was sent Oct. 25, 2010 — just eight days before the election — to Michelle Saddler, the head of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
“Hi, Michelle. Any further thoughts about taking NRI to Rockford, Decatur and East St. Louis?” Shaw stated in the email. “If we want to do that, it would be great to announce it this week.”
Saddler, as secretary of the Department of Human Services, served on the Violence Prevention Authority’s board.
The expansion never happened. And, as it turned out, those Downstate communities, including ESL, were part of a different anti-violence program. Director Saddler’s response e-mail, if any, and e-mail exchanges leading up to the one Shaw sent weren’t included in the story.
…Adding… The reporter on the ESL story says he couldn’t find any response by Saddler.