SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Grand jury subpoenas Lavin’s e-mails

Monday, Aug 25, 2014

* Tribune

A federal grand jury subpoenaed emails of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s former chief of staff and two other onetime top aides as a criminal probe into a botched $54.5 million anti-violence grant program continues ahead of the November election.

The subpoenas, disclosed by the Quinn administration in response to a Tribune open records request, shows the grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin, who served as Quinn’s chief operating officer and later as his chief of staff until departing state government last September.

The July 28 subpoenas were requested by Timothy Bass, an assistant U.S. attorney in Springfield who has prosecuted government grant fraud cases. In May, Bass used a subpoena to request the emails of five other key players in the anti-violence program, including the now-retired aide who ran it for Quinn. […]

Also subpoenaed were the emails of Billy Ocasio, a former 26th Ward alderman who served as Quinn’s senior adviser on social justice issues. Ocasio, who worked for the Illinois Housing Development Authority after Quinn’s election, left state government last year.

In addition to the emails of top Quinn advisers, a separate subpoena seeks all records from the state Department of Human Services involving any anti-violence program in which the agency worked with the former Illinois Violence Prevention Authority or the current Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

* The Sun-Times has the Quinn response

A Quinn spokesman said the records being sought by prosecutors are records the governor’s office already was asked to provide to the Legislative Audit Commission as part of its ongoing probe spurred by a February audit of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative by state Auditor General William Holland.

“The governor has zero tolerance for any mismanagement and took decisive action to fix the problems long ago,” Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman said Saturday, repeating the stance Quinn has taken since the first word of the NRI probes. “The program has been shut down for nearly two years, we enacted legislation that would make Illinois a national leader for grant oversight, and the governor has ordered all state agencies to fully support any inquiries. If any grantee has done anything wrong, they should be held fully accountable.”

* Rauner in the Trib

At a downtown news conference, Rauner sought to link his call for term limits to a grand jury probe of Quinn’s $54.5 million anti-violence grant program as well as a new watchdog report questioning Quinn administration hiring practices at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“Illinois is suffering so badly under our career politicians with massive corruption and massive failure to improve the quality of life for the families of our state,” said Rauner […]

“This goes right to the heart of Quinn’s administration…You can’t get any more close to Pat Quinn personally that Jack Lavin,” Rauner said.

He’s probably right about that last point. Lavin was Quinn’s deputy treasurer, then was the governor’s chief operating officer before moving up to chief of staff. He also worked for Tony Rezko and did a stint at DCEO under Blagojevich. But he survived both of those gigs without a single blemish.

^ Quinn’s response to Rauner in the Trib

Later, Quinn said the Rauner “doesn’t have any credibility at all when it comes to ethics,” a reference to problems at some companies that GTCR, the wealthy Rauner’s former equity firm, had invested in. “So I don’t pay any attention to him when he talks about that issue,” Quinn said.

* Greg Hinz gets the last word

Mr. Quinn says he cleaned up the program when he heard of the problems — just like he’s now abolished the position of “staff assistant” at IDOT and fired those still on the payroll.

But that’s not going to keep the grand jury from doing its thing. Nor may it stop General Assembly panels from resuming their own review after mid-October. (Prosecutors asked the Legislature to hold off until then lest the federal probe be compromised.)

Even more important, the issue is back on Page 1, and Mr. Rauner likely will be able to keep it there. In the same way that I’ve challenged Mr. Rauner to take responsibility for some of the mess-ups that occurred in companies owned by his former investment company, GTCR LLC, it’s fair to ask Mr. Quinn to take responsibility for what occurred on his watch.

Pat Quinn would much rather be talking about what he sees as a recovering economy and “billionaire Bruce Rauner.” But if the past few days are any indication, another subject is going to be on the agenda, too.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    Grand jury investigations are the gift that keeps on coming.

  2. - RNUG - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Not the first time that State emails have been gone through looking for wrongdoing. I know it was done by law enforcement under at least one previous administration quite a few years back. They may or may not find a smoking gun, but there will be questionable stuff just because people don’t worry about what they put in an email.

    Not good news for Quinn, especially if all the results are made public before the election.

  3. - Skeptic Cal - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    Rauner is wasting his breath on term limits. Corruption is not stopped by term limits. Prison might stop term limits. If I were on his campaign team I would talk about criminal activity and the history of governors going to prison. See if that sticks?

  4. - A guy... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Nothing to add to what Slinger said. The hits just keep on comin’.

  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    Step one, subpoena the e-mails. Step two, read the e-mails. Step three, decide if anything in the e-mails is incriminating.

    This is only step one. The Tribune should remember that all of us are innocent until the feds indict us.

  6. - W.S. Walcott - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    If one is maybe tipee-toeing into the gray area of politics and policy, why are they using state email accounts? One would think they’d have figured that out by now…

  7. - Been There - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    ===If one is maybe tipee-toeing into the gray area of politics and policy, why are they using state email accounts? One would think they’d have figured that out by now… ====
    You would think. I can’t imagine Lavin not being careful about using email. On the other hand there is not much you can do if someone emails you. And words can be taken out of context. Sometimes the old fashion face to face is better (off of state property of course).

  8. - Chicago Publius - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    I’d be worried that the grand jury inquiry will lead into other areas — as they usually do — including those areas where Lavin installed his proxies when he was in the Gov’s office, including the Toll Highway Authority, the Finance Authority, and DCEO.

  9. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    “The governor has zero tolerance for any mismanagement…” yet he stood up beside the felonious Rod as his running mate. Quinn’s character may be questionable, but at least he took good notes.

  10. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    == I can’t imagine Lavin not being careful about using email. ==

    iirc, it has been reported that Lavin was cc’d on at least one email which involves a possible question of clout and the distribution of these funds.

    He forwarded the email from his state email to his personal email, and there is no indication yet of what or how he replied from his personal account. It sure would be interesting to see what his reply, if any, was.

  11. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Substantively it’s hard to know if there’s a there there with Jack’s emails. Politically, it’s a huge problem. Just more material for the negative ad campaign and edit boards.

  12. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Wouldn’t they just get the same emails already provided to the audit commission? If there was a smoking gun, wouldn’t we know it already?

  13. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    1) Just because he was cc’d on an email doesn’t mean diddly. Anyone can cc anyone after all.
    2) “grand jury asking the state for the emails of Jack Lavin” How is the State going to provide records from his personal email?

  14. - Cassandra - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Lavin is obviously no dummy and I find it hard to believe he would put anything incriminating in a state e-mail. The e-mail that comes back to bite you is a well established peril of the modern workplace, public or private.

  15. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:44 am:


    1) Agreed. == there is no indication yet of what or how he replied from his personal account ==
    2) Obviously. == It sure would be interesting to see what his reply, if any, was. ==

    Unless some sort of logic-defining way exists to view one’s “personal” emails via their “state” emails, the investigation would have to gain access to his personal emails in order to view any possible “smoking gun” relating to state business that originates from his personal email account.

  16. - RNUG - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    You can be smart with your own email but you can’t stop dummies from sending stupid stuff to you.

  17. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Will this subpoena result in a request for the LAC to postpone their October hearing?

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    @RNUG - exactly. His reply, if any, could very well have been “Don’t ever cc me on anything like this again. What is wrong with you?”

    People can send you anything. It is not what they send you that matters, but how you reply to it that does.

  19. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    “how you reply to it that does.” That’s an interesting question. I see five scenarios:
    A) He replies to the note from his State account
    B) He immediately ignores and/or deletes the note from his State account
    C) He replies with “Don’t ever send me this again” and then ignores/deletes the note
    D) He replies with “Don’t ever send me this again” and then forwards it to his personal account to handle; or
    E) He forwards it without comment to his personal account to handle.

    Clearly (A) gets him hot water, (B) does not. But in (C), (D) or (E) I could see a lawyer twisting his way around whether that’s “acting” on the note or not and hence bad news. Can a legal expert clarify?

  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    If Paulie hated phones, Paulie really would have hated emails.

    A Grand Jury…ain’t no Dopey commission. This is bad optics to say the barest of minimums.

    “Friends talk to each other. They don’t email or telephone. Friends also hug. Now, what do you want to talk about…”


  21. - Sue - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Does anyone remember the Fed investigation leading up to the 1998 Governor’s election as the Feds were circling around the Secretary of State’s office- Ryan was not yet a subject but his confidants were falling like dominos. Too soon to say if this mess will eventually make its way to Quinn but talk about lousy judgment in terms of hiring Jack Lavin to be Chief of Staff. One has to ask why in the name of God would you bring Tony Rezko into your inner circle by hiring Lavin. Quinn deserves this mess- he caused it

  22. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    Dust off your keyboard macro. CTRL+ATL+G = “The Governor has not been charged with any wrong-doing.”

  23. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 25, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    skeptic - that’s also an interesting question you pose in your follow-up. It is easy to see a lawyer trying to turn just about any of those into some sort of nefarious situation, isn’t it?

    Sometimes things get twisted by others, even when you’re trying to do the right thing.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Here we go...
* Question of the day
* Kirk's confidence
* Unclear on the concept; And pot, meet kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** The supreme power of video
* More lip service
* A union overreach?
* Duckworth fires back against Zopp for "cheap political" shot
* Republicans side with unions in court case
* Rauner pushes Gaming Board to back off fantasy sports site issue
* No known impact of Rauner opposition to refugees
* Benton circulating against McCann
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* LG Ray with 5.5-Inch HD display, Octa-core processor and 13MP rear camera launches in select 3G markets
* Black Friday 2015 deal roundup: cheap phones, tablets, and wearables for all
* Official CyanogenMod 13 support already expanded to Nexus 5X, 6P, and LG G2
* Google supports special education with every Android Pay purchase
* OnePlus 2 opens up sales on Amazon India for a full 72 hours
* Here’s everything the BlackBerry Priv does to protect your security and privacy
* Motorola unveils trio of upcoming Cyber Monday deals

* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* White Sox acquire RHP Tommy Kahnle from Rockies for RHP Yency Almonte
* White Sox acquire Kahnle in deal with Rockies
* KBO's Jae-gyun Hwang can be posted after all
* White Sox Charities all about opportunities
* White Sox add Aaron Rowand to minor-league development staff
* White Sox tab Rowand as Minors instructor


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies.....

* Amtrak ramps up service, offers tips for holiday travel
* EXCHANGE: Fire training buildings adapt to versatile needs
* Bishop Hill Museum acquires early painting by folk artist
* State treasurer to hold online auction of unclaimed property
* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor
* Illinois makes tax-break deals with 3 companies
* Suburban Chicago teacher sentenced for child pornography
* N. Illinois University removes Bibles from campus hotel
* Bridge connecting St. Louis, East St. Louis set to reopen

* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage
* Rauner says White House promises to answer refugee queries
* More honors for Auburn woman who saved man from train

* America is thankful for ... stores open on Thanksgiving
* Four companies doing the right thing for shareholders
* American Chartered deal may be an outlier
* Advocate for women in tech sings a different tune onstage
* Release of police-shooting video ignites street protests

* Mitchell: “Hideous” video tells an even more hideous story
* Marchers protest CPD handling of Laquan McDonald’s murder
* Mihalopoulos: Laquan McDonald video could define state’s attorney’s race
* Patrick Kane’s point streak nearing historic levels
* Uber cleared to serve O’Hare, Midway airports
* McCarthy: “Nonsense” to claim his firing of Dante Servin was politically timed
* Quickie quiz: Only player to score goal at United Center, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field?
* Black Caucus chairman: What took Alvarez so long to file charges?
* Veljko Paunovic announced as new Fire coach
* Blackhawks unveil Stadium Series uniforms

* Shooting video latest stain on Chicago's policing record
* 5 shot in separate shootings on the South Side
* Release of Laquan McDonald video sends protesters onto Chicago streets
* A moment by moment account of what the Laquan McDonald video shows
* Chicago releases dash-cam video of fatal shooting after charging cop with murder

* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Kathleen Parker: Crazy is as crazy does
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election

* Thanksgiving message from UI's Killeen
* Racist 'Illini' page may not be work of any real Illini
* Perfect beginning for women's hoops
* Tate: Groce up in arms about defense
* Running back commits
* Tuesday's highlights: Central's Finke falls in debut
* Richey: Illinois win was never in doubt
* UPDATED: Mahomet trustees vote to repeal video gaming ban
* Candidate filings: Dem for 13th, Rietz for fourth term
* LIVE! Tennessee State

* Highland Park brothers debut new PBS Kids series, 'Nature Cat'
* Battle of Barrington witness: 'We were scared to death'
* Video shows Chicago cop shooting teen after he had fallen
* Revised nuclear deal between South Korea, US takes effect
* The Latest: Protesters march, confront police in Chicago

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Rauner Says Homeland Security to Address S......

* Kirk co-authors Government Transformation ......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* Laquan McDonald Protesters Produce Traffic Chaos Tuesday Night
* 4635 Broadway Begins Its Renovation
* A violent overtone to this week of thanks; will it be ugly Black Friday?
* Random thoughts.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Tuesday filing, unfiling update
* Mid-century modern homes in Chatham
* Watch the Organization
* Kinney, Alonzo take part in recognition ceremony in San Diego

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller