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Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015

* From a press release…

Four finalists remain in the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission’s search to replace retiring Auditor General William Holland. The Commission has been actively searching for candidates since Holland announced his intent to retire. An LAC Search Subcommittee reviewed a total of 14 applications, conducted background checks, and last week interviewed seven candidates before narrowing to four finalists. The four candidates include:

    • Frank Mautino of Spring Valley, IL. State Representative Mautino serves as Deputy Majority Leader in the Illinois House and chief negotiator on major legislative issues.

    • Mary Modelski, CIA, CISA, CGAP, of Walnut Creek, California. Ms. Modelski, a Hoffman Estates native, is a Division Chief for Internal Audit for Alameda County, California.

    • Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, IL. State Representative Nekritz is an Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois House and an attorney.

    • Attorney Larry Sanders of Marion, IL. Mr. Sanders is the General Counsel of the Rend Lake Conservancy District. He served as senior partner of Sanders & Sanders, where he represented many southern Illinois school districts.

“The Auditor General serves as our partner in our effort to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in State government,” said LAC Co-Chair State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington). “This is why it’s so important that we find the best candidates for the positon.”

The Audit Commission will make its recommendation to the General Assembly from the remaining candidate pool. The Legislature has the final authority to choose the Auditor General and statute requires that the successful candidate be selected by a 3/5s majority vote in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate.

The Auditor General is a constitutional officer charged with the audit of public funds of the State. In addition, the Auditor General performs investigations and efficiency, management, and program audits at the direction of the Legislature or the Legislative Audit Commission. State law requires that each State agency be audited every two years.

“Our next Auditor General will have a tough act to follow, as current Auditor General Bill Holland has built an impeccable reputation as a steward of taxpayer dollars,” said LAC Co-Chair State Representative Bob Rita (D-Blue Island).

Bill Holland has served as Auditor General since 1992. In June he announced that he will retire on December 31, 2015. The Audit Commission announced the search for a replacement soon after via press release and also placed notices in several online publications to attract individuals with experience in auditing, accounting, administration, law, or state government. Ads ran in four daily newspapers and a total of 14 individuals applied for the position.

* The Question: Your pick for Auditor General? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


feedback surveys

- Posted by Rich Miller        


50 Comments
  1. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    Rep. Nekritz

    With all due respect to Leader Mautino, I firmly believe that Rep. Nekritz is much more budget and outlook savvy.


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    If you are going on qualifications then it should be Ms. Modelski. That was my vote.


  3. - A guy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:03 pm:

    My sentimental favorite is Rep. Mautino, so I did vote that way. I like Rep. Nekritz a lot too. Don’t think you could go wrong in either case. I feel a little sheepish that I really don’t know the other two at all. That made this a bit more difficult. But to see the tally, you gotta vote. Because of that, I went with Frank. No matter what, I don’t consider that a risk.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Leader Mautino”

    Why?

    All are qualified, and all could and would do an outstanding job, but Leader Mautino feels for me to be the fit that fits best, given the gridlock challenges any and all auditing that may come into play with the current actors for the next 3 years and beyond.

    Math is math and numbers are indeed numbers, but we’re beyond a lot of the black and white both sides want, we need loads more fair play in the gray.


  5. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    I’m voting Frank. He knows the budget and the process. Frank is better able to withstand the pressures of Illinois politics that comes with the job.


  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    Mautino gut feeling good for Illinois, his replacement?


  7. - Liberty - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Modelski, the only one with actual auditing experience.


  8. - Freddy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    I think highly of both Mautino and Nekritz…I just think an outsider with actual auditing experience is better suited for the job. Voted for Moldelski.


  9. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    Mautino has a much deeper understanding of state budget and operations than the other finalists.


  10. - Freddy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    Adding…if either Mautino or Nekritz are selected, be ready for a slew of “fox guarding the hen house” outrage from the media. It will be unfair, but it’s coming.


  11. - Lt. Guv. - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    Frank. He’s bright and good. Additionally, he’s stared death in the face and there won’t be much out there to intimidate him at this point.


  12. - Bruce (No not him) - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    Maybe an actual auditor instead of a politician would be a good idea.


  13. - John A Logan - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    Sanders. Simply because he is from Southern Illinois.


  14. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Modelski.

    So far all the political types have made a complete and total hash of Illinois finances. So why would we ever want to put those types in as State Auditor General

    We’re all saying that “we need to start to look beyond politics” - yet for Auditor General, we look to more politicians?

    This could make a storyline for at least one episode of “Illinois - The Sitcom”.


  15. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===the only one with actual auditing experience===

    Um, as co-chair of the Audit Commission, that does give Mautino some audit experience, no?


  16. - Montrose - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:44 pm:

    I voted Mautino. He knows how the system works and will be above politics while being able to navigate politics.

    I also selfishly don’t want Nekritz to leave the House.


  17. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Modelski. Based on the brief bio, she seems least political of the four.


  18. - Agricola - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    ==Maybe an actual auditor instead of a politician would be a good idea.==

    Actually, the Auditor General doesn’t do the audits. The Auditor General protects the auditors who do the audits from political pressure. Rep. Mautino knows the system well (from years on the LAC and in the House) and can keep the auditors from being misled by agencies, and has the guts needed to protect the independence of the auditors.


  19. - Outsider - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    I also agree that Modelski would be best…she isn’t an insider and she is a professional auditor…why would we want a political hack rather than a pro….


  20. - doofusguy - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    Modelski - population inflow


  21. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    Nekritz…combines the best of all


  22. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    If I were the GA I wouldn’t even remotely consider someone from out-of-state


  23. - Qui Tam - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    Modelski. Best qualified for the duties. Also seems to be a relative outsider.
    The only reason you would need state budget experience is if you want to politicize the job.

    The Auditor’s job involves reviewing agency practices relative to administrative rules and the law.

    Anybody but Nekritz, an SEC-founded pension fraudster who is smart and politically savvy, but untrustworthy.


  24. - Bruce (No not him) - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    OK I admit it, I’m so sick of Illinois politicians anyone from outside the state has to be an improvement.


  25. - Qui Tam - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:59 pm:

    =steve schnorf - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 2:53 pm:

    If I were the GA I wouldn’t even remotely consider someone from out-of-state=

    I feel even better about Modelski now. While it doesn’t speak well for her chances, that’s the best endorsement I’ve seen yet.


  26. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    I voted Mautino ONLY because I don’t want to lose Elaine in the House. Frankly, Mautino is wonderful but eminently replaceable. Elaine is not.


  27. - Davos Seaworth - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    I voted for Mautino mainly because of his experience with the the audit committee, state budget, and government operations of this State. I know that cynics and anti-government types would view his years in the GA as a negative, but for those who have seen Rep. Mautino at work can verify that he possesses wisdom, honesty, and integrity.

    With that being said, all the finalists are more than capable.


  28. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    I didnt vote because I dont know enough about the candidates that arent state reps. I’d rather have someone with auditing experience than a state legislator.


  29. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    Frank, because I think he will be remembered as “just as good as Bill Holland”. And I can’t get past Elaine’s active role in the pension can-kicking.


  30. - Soccertease - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:03 pm:

    Modelski. The auditor general should be a CPA or a CIA.
    ==Actually, the Auditor General doesn’t do the audits. The Auditor General protects the auditors who do the audits from political pressure.==

    Agricola’s comment is not correct. The auditor general signs audit opinions, gives audit directions on the scope of the audits, the audit program, etc.


  31. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:03 pm:

    The objections to Frank were also raised against Bill Holland. He turned out all right.

    The last thing we need is a pencil-pusher from California who doesn’t know a bull from a boiler.


  32. - Andy S. - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    Voted for Modelski, an outsider who appears to have the best qualifications. Based on her quixotic pursuit of clearly unconstitutional pension diminishment legislation, I think Nekritz would be a poor choice, though I would love to see her gone from the GA.


  33. - Auditors Choice - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    Frank Mautino has experience in Illinois state government.


  34. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    Some of the comments seem to be overly focused on the budget. To me, that is not the major part of what the OAG does. It’s more about operations. How agencies perform their work. Are they in compliance with statutes and rules. Are their processes unnecessarily burdensome or redundant. That’s why I think an outsider would not work well. Mautino seems best suited for this.


  35. - Qui Tam - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    OR @ 3:19 says
    =Some of the comments seem to be overly focused on the budget.=
    Thank You I agree. Focusing on backing any audit to fit into budgeting issues makes the audit subjective, which comprises the audit.


  36. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    Ms. Modelski. She is the most qualified without any ties to current legislators.


  37. - DisappointedInElaine - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    Mautino, Mautino, Mautino. He has the experience, wisdom, and ethics to carry out the job in a respectful dignified manner.

    Not sure why Nekritz felt the need to throw her name in the mix; but I feel like it was a very bad choice on her part and has left a bad taste in lots of Springfield insiders mouth.


  38. - siriusly - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:51 pm:

    I think Mautino and Nekritz would both be outstanding Auditors General. They would do exceptionally well.

    However, I voted for the out of state guy because I think this position needs credibility. And the next time the Auditor General finds issues with the governor’s office or a state agency - it would be nice to see that audit accepted as fact and not questioned for motive.


  39. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:58 pm:

    To Rambler’s point, it is essential to the job that the General understand how Illinois state government works, and is supposed to work.

    With all due respect, alameda county has a budget of less than $3 billion, and Rend Lake isn’t even in the same sport, let alone the same league as state government.


  40. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 4:59 pm:

    Bruce Rauner is an outsider,what has that gotten us?


  41. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:41 pm:

    Mautino, how many experts have failed as heads of agencies because they can’t navigate the climate in Illinois? The staff are the experts and the Auditor General navigates the political landscape. That’s an arrangement that has worked out exceptionally well for the Auditor General’s office over the last 20+ years.

    Also Soccertease, there’s the Yellow Book, you can’t get around it when conducting audits, period. How involved do you think the Auditor General in the day-to-day conducting of audits?


  42. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:42 pm:

    Sanders-not a politician!! We need new blood to help our state!


  43. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:43 pm:

    Mautino - from years of attending LAC hearings.
    Question - didn’t Rend Lake get a nasty audit years ago? Was Sanders part of the problem, or part of the response?
    Models - absent other input, a Wild Card.


  44. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    Modelski- hate autocorrect!


  45. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 6:44 pm:

    Modelski has the credentials and would take politics out of it. It also promises to take that office to another level, a change for the benefit of the State.


  46. - BackesJ - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 7:37 pm:

    There is no better man for the job then Frank Mautino. He has proven again and again his professionalism and dedication in his political position to both sides. A humble yet intelligent , understanding hard working man!


  47. - Mike - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 9:13 pm:

    Always concerned as to the responsible use of funds.


  48. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Sep 30, 15 @ 10:33 pm:

    Frank smart and hardworking. Knows his way around state, a proven leader.


  49. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 8:21 am:

    Had to with Frank. His work as a budget wonk, his work on the Audit Commission and his knowledge of how state gvt. operates makes him a solid choice.

    Bringing in someone with no knowledge of how Illinois state gvt. operates, the challenges faced by state agencies or the budget making process, makes little sense.

    I suppose any auditor could “crack the whip” on state agencies with findings, but the ability to understand why those findings occurred and what it would take to fix them, is just as important as being able to look at agency reports and point the finger as what is being done wrong.


  50. - AdvanceIllinois - Thursday, Oct 1, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    Great comments all. Sanders was brought in as part of the solution after the terrible audit at Rend Lake years ago. From my perspective Sanders, as counsel and CFO of the multi-regional government water district, has succeeded in preventing competing political factions of the board from making unethical budgetary decisions in the past and would not shy away from doing so on the state level. In Southern Illinois, Sanders has a reputation for the highest ethical standards. As an accountant, an attorney, and a relative outsider from Illinois state politics, I think he would be the best for the job.

    I was also swayed by Modelski’s bio, although I do not know anything about Alameda county’s budgetary history. I would rather have her in the position over someone already emeshed in the Illinois political system I am skeptical of.

    I am also impressed with the positive comments about the two house representatives, but again, I would like to see someone who is out of the Illinois state political system and therefore does not stand to benefit from current political connections.


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