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This Is Illinois

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2015

* AP

A Chicago businessman convicted of pocketing nearly $3 million in state grant funds was sentenced to six years in prison Monday after a federal prosecutor declared that Illinois government corruption “seems to be the norm anymore, rather than the exception.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Mills imposed the sentence — short of the eight years the government requested — on Leon Dingle Jr. for his role in a six-year fraud involving Illinois Department of Public Health funds. He also was ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution.

After a sentencing hearing lasting more than two hours, Mills ordered Dingle’s wife, Karin, to spend three years in prison for her role in the scheme. Leon Dingle, 78, was convicted last December of 17 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering. Karin Dingle, 76, was convicted on six counts. […]

Mills took into consideration 55 letters of support for Leon Dingle, including from U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, a Chicago Democrat and uncle of a co-defendant in the case, and Alphonso Jackson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George W. Bush. The judge noted that Dingle became wealthy by investing in a cable television company and spent years in health care and doing charitable work.

“Dr. Dingle has done a lot of good in his life,” Mills said. “But this is a very serious offense involving a staggering amount of money that went on for several years. It’s not an aberration or something that occurred once or twice.”


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    How many more have not been caught yet? After all, this is Illinois.

  2. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:18 am:

    This stuff makes me embarrassed to live in Illinois. But hopefully these serious sentences will make the next wannabe think twice. Then again, this is Illinois.

  3. - logic not emotion - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    This type of stuff casts a negative shadow over a whole lot of good staff and good work done at IDPH.

    It is important to note that this was done under Eric Whitaker’s watch as IDPH Director. IDPH has had some not so great Directors; but Dr. Shah, the present Director, seems like the best they’ve had in a very, very long time. If only the Governor and Legislative Leaders would get their act together and pass a decent budget…

  4. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    I’m surprised at how little attention this story has received. It’s made the media rounds, but it’s had sort of a ho-hum, just-another-Illinois-government-scandal vibe to it. The stole MILLIONS from Illinois taxpayers and are apparently unapologetic. Disgusting.

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    Never ceases to amaze when those with much will risk it all for a few dollars more. Risking prison when you’re already rich and in your 70s? It’s lunacy.

    For some, it must be just for the action.

    In his book “Casino,” Nicholas Pileggi recounts how the Spilotro crew in Vegas would shoplift candy bars and gum just for kicks.

    They were all career criminals with many convictions, had thousands in their pockets, but they’d risk hard long stretches as habitual criminals for Snickers and Juicy Fruit, just for the action.

  6. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    Should there be an additional level of scorn because he was stealing from the poor and disadvantaged, as well as the taxpayer?

  7. - Mama - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    “A Chicago businessman convicted of pocketing nearly $3 million in state grant funds was sentenced to six years”

    Rauner thinks most state agency functions should be contracted out to private businesses/ investors without any stings attached. If he contracts out most state functions, expect a lot more fraud like this one happening.

  8. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    “Rauner thinks most state agency functions should be contracted out to private businesses/ investors without any stings attached. If he contracts out most state functions, expect a lot more fraud like this one happening.”

    That is such a reach….you have won the internet today.


  9. - Gmma - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    to logic not emotion: have you worked for Dr Shah? Having been involved with some of his own transition agenda, I’m not sure I would agree he is the best one. How many states have a physician who never practiced as their public health head? We now do. Too early for an opinion for me. Agree with everything else you say.

  10. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    I’ve heard good things about Dr. Shah, but I’m not putting him in the IDPH hall of fame yet. His burden is that he works for Rauner and the frat boys. That will prevent him from repairing a lot of the damage to that agency caused by the Blago/Quinn years.

  11. - Andy Nymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:02 pm:

    Danny Davis, uncle of co-conspirator Quin Golden, wrote a letter in support of the Dingles. Can we debar any Davis associate from any public employment or contract?

  12. - Birdseed - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    === - Mama - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    Rauner. ===

    Really? “Rauner” is the first word of your post? He must be living in your head.

  13. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    === How many states have a physician who never practiced as their public health head? We now do. ===

    I assume you’re referring to seeing patients. I don’t see that as a disqualifying issue. The post requires a good administrator with public health knowledge, not a doctor to treat patients.

  14. - Mama - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    Google it

    8 REASONS NOT TO CONTRACT OUT PUBLIC SERVICES. 8 … Contracting out in state and local governments has increased rapidly over the last several.”

    See page 8

  15. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    so where’s the government corruption?

  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    Logic, your canonization of Dr. Shah is definitely premature. From others, I’ve heard he is nice, but clueless and powerless within the GO’s org chart. From your prior posts, I see you’re a fan of guns and dislike regulation of septic discharge. Since prior IDPH directors often spoke of gun violence as a public health problem and pushed, with IEPA, for regulation of septic systems, I think I can see why you’re a fan.

  17. - Not surprised - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    In a state with one party rule for so long, is it really any surprise that 13 of the most connected pocketed so much government money? 13 inditees, all with connections to Eric Whitaker, the president’S best buddy. The fact that this is not national news is the real story.

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    – The fact that this is not national news is the real story.–

    You lost me. What is the “real story?”

  19. - Not surprised - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    The “real story” is why the national media is not running stories on the Democrat culture of corruption in Illinois and that same culture’S connection to the president’S best friend. I wonder if anyone will care when the president commutes all of their prison sentences to “time served”.

  20. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    –The “real story” is why the national media is not running stories on the Democrat culture of corruption in Illinois and that same culture’S connection to the president’S best friend. I wonder if anyone will care when the president commutes all of their prison sentences to “time served”.–

    Ohhhhhhh, national media conspiracy, eh? Why didn’t I see that?

    How do you think they got Fox News, WSJ edit board and talk radio to go along with it?

    Quite diabolical though for the Obama Justice Department to prosecute all his good “friends.” What’s the “real story” there?

    Do you think the president will commute all their sentences before or after he pardons Blago, Rezko and Trips?


  21. - Holdingontomywallet - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    Government corruption by IDPH former Chief of Staff, Quinshaunta Golden (Danny Davis’ niece). Currently serving time in federal prison:

    Oh, and Dr. Lumpkin, best IDPH Director ever.

  22. - logic not emotion - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 2:39 pm:

    I have never worked for Dr. Shah; but, to some extent, I have known every IDPH Director going back to and including Dr. Lumpkin. Of them all, I have had the least contact with Dr. Shah. I have spoken with him and heard him speak. More importantly, I have seen some positive changes since he became Director.

    I’m no longer naive enough to think that State Directors really control state agencies (Blago seemed to really shift that control to the Governor’s office where it has stayed); but they do have some influence.

    I’m not really concerned that he hasn’t practiced medicine. What that position needed was someone who actually cared about “public health”, was smart and could manage. I don’t think they’ve had that for a while. There are some physicians who have all that; but don’t want to deal with the politics of the position. Overall, my impression is that Dr. Shah desires to do the right thing; but is somewhat hampered by the Governor. I hope I’m not wrong.

    Yes. I’m pro-second amendment and I think the NPDES legislation is bad. If you think gun control is good, go tell Mary Shepard why and show her the evidence that it actually works. If you think NPDES is good, explain to me how Chicago complies then go tell someone living on a fixed income in a trailer 1/2 mile from their nearest neighbor why it is more important for them to spend $,$$$ on a new septic system than on food, medicine or heat.

  23. - Nobody 3 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 3:31 pm:

    Shah has tightened up on the multi-million dollar democrat slush fund known as “grants”. Much to the chagrin of political insiders. Now, grantees actially have to earn the money, which is now released in quarterly traumches, instead of all at once.

  24. - Might have been there - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    i think this is one of those stories that, to appreciate with respect to state politics, you really had to have a good seat and a reason for paying attention. Anybody with political savvy can do what the Doctor did, the grant contracts are written that badly. Hubris is what made this a tragedy in the classical sense.

  25. - Holdingontomywallet - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    They stole large amounts of money through kickbacks from grants that were supposed to be for Homeland Security and to raise awareness for HIV and cancer. It’s as simple as that. Shameless.

  26. - DuPage Great Grandma - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 6:18 pm:

    Mama, Thank you for your comments and links. I have posted them on fb. I do believe that privatization will lead to more corruption and patronage as well.
    PS DuPage Grandma has become DuPage Great Grandma.

  27. - Sick of It All - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 7:27 pm:

    John Lumpkin was great? PLEASE! I and many others were no fan of his. An ineffectual leader if I ever met one. Glad I retired!

  28. - Norseman - Tuesday, Dec 15, 15 @ 7:45 pm:

    Sick of It All, if you think Lumpkin was ineffectual I’m glad you retired too.

  29. - Sick of It All - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 12:23 am:


    Give me Bernie Turnock any day over John Lumpkin…lots of corruption at IDPH (that didn’t always make the news)occurred under Lumpkin’s “watch”. And some people were hired under him that were the subject of scandal and resignation of late. And if you worked there, you should already know this…

  30. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 1:11 am:

    Sick of It All, you don’t know what you’re talking about because anyone familiar with Dr. Turnock knew he didn’t go by the name “Bernie.” He was Barney to all.

    And whom did he hire that resigned of late who were the subject of scandal.

    There were some senior level staff from a previous administration who were jealous that he got the job instead of them and did their best to badmouth him. Sounds like you were associated with one of these folks.

    It was the crew brought in by Whitaker that brought shame and corruption to IDPH.

  31. - Tired of it all in Illinois - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 6:16 am:

    Something I don’t understand, a past DCFS Director, Erwin McEwen, a relative of a past majority leader Emil Jones, who is now retired, pilfered millions of dollars, re directed public funds for bulls tickets, contracts for McEwen’s friends and family, directed DCFS employees to circumvent procedures in awarding contracts, in which under Ex Gov. Quinn’s leadership, walked away unscathed.

    More than $18,000,000 was fraudulently redirected. Was McEwen not prosecuted because he is a relative of Emil Jones? Because Quinn received some quid pro quo kick back? This is why Illinois is in the fiscal crisis it is in.

    Quinn himself used public funds, $55,000,000 worth, months before his last re-election, funneled thru faith based programs, on the disguises of reducing violence in some of Chicago’s most problematic, violent communities.

    Not one person has been prosecuted.

    Rauner isn’t much better. Rauner has established a influx of Floridian’s coming to Illinois receiving well paid, newly created positions in several state agencies.

    Your past more detailed coverage:

    Sad, very sad.

  32. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 8:08 am:

    Tired of it all in Illinois, if the Feds had evidence to support your assertions about Director McEwen, there would be indictments. Their continued inaction throws doubt on your claims.

  33. - cdog - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 8:26 am:

    Maybe Tired of it all in Illinois needs to make a phone call.

    Be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  34. - Sick of It All - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 7:03 pm:


    No, I wasn’t “associated” with those people to whom you refer and of which I know nothing of….you’re the one that doesn’t know what you’re talking about….DID YOU FORGET ABOUT LUMPKIN BEING HELD IN CONTEMPT OF COURT FOR SEVERAL WEEKS AND ALL OF THE MEDIA ATTENTION? I didn’t even live in Springfield and I knew about it. And there were other things too that went on there - political tickets pushed on staff during working hours, people running personal businesses in with state equipment. I heard that some people indeed left…under a cloud. One got arrested for an unrelated crime. I didn’t work there….but I WAS at the Gridiron dinner where “BERNIE” Turnock was parodied, as “BERNIE.” You must have worked at IDPH (with “Barney”) - you would make or probably are their media spokesperson/PR hack….I could tell you some other things about Lumpkin too, that isn’t appropriate for this fine blog. I bet you know what I am talking about…I do agree with you that Whitaker and company took the department’s culture of corruption to another level.

  35. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 7:27 pm:


  36. - Norseman - Wednesday, Dec 16, 15 @ 7:52 pm:


    Sick, you’re obviously a Lumpkin hater who takes partial information and twists it to fit your agenda. I don’t care what you think to be honest. The only reason I’m responding is because of the ridiculous statement above that serves to tarnish someone without explaining the details. The case involved revealing confidential data held by the Department. If you knew anything about public health, you’d now how serious the concern about protecting confidential information. Lumpkin did as all public health professionals would do and refused to release people’s confidential information. The details can be read here:

    But then again, you don’t seem interested in facts. Rumors and gossip fit your agenda a lot better.

    P.S. Gridiron is your source for info on Barney. LOL. Next thing will be you singing the Condom Rag.

  37. - Sick of It All - Monday, Jan 4, 16 @ 6:37 pm:

    Norseman, you’re obviously an apologist and/or friend of John Lumpkin or maybe you were involved in this mess. Don’t tell me that I don’t rely on facts…here is the case where John Lumpkin was found to have violated the law:

    On March 28, 2001, the 5th Dist. Appellate court held that the Illinois Department of Public Health violated state law by denying a Freedom of Information Request that was made by the media for the cancer registry data that was requested to investigate the incident of cancer in Illinois.

    Nuff said…if the condom fits, wear it!

  38. - Norseman - Monday, Jan 4, 16 @ 7:42 pm:

    LOL. It took you over 2 weeks to come up with a link to the appellate ruling on the same case for which I gave you the IL Supreme Court ruling link.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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