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Mautino gets more time to answer questions

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Ottawa Times

Former state Rep. Frank Mautino is getting another two weeks to answer the state elections board’s concerns about his campaign finance reports.

The Board of Elections granted an extension for Mautino, D-Spring Valley, at its monthly meeting Monday.

He has until Tuesday, July 26, to provide the information. If it’s considered insufficient, a public hearing will be set in which a hearing officer will take testimony about Mautino’s reports, which are the target of a citizen’s complaint, said Tom Newman, the board’s director of campaign disclosure.

For nearly six months, Mautino, now the state’s auditor general, has avoided answering questions about how he spent campaign money. His spending included nearly $250,000 in gas and car repairs at Happy’s Super Service in Spring Valley as well as more than $250,000 in payments to Spring Valley City Bank.

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news network

Going against the recommendation of the election board’s general counsel, the board voted 5-3 to deny a motion to stay its investigation while the U.S. Attorney’s office investigates hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending.

The board wanted guidance from federal investigators before deciding to hold off on the state investigation. Election board member John Keith said that guidance indicated the board’s decision would not impact any possible federal case.

Board member William Cadigan said denying the motion to stay treats Mautino’s case like every other case the election board handles.

Board member William McGuffage voted no on the motion, saying the election board’s decision could bolster negative press, hinder the federal investigation and be used in any possible impeachment proceedings against the Auditor General.

Mautino’s attorney said the expected the stay to be granted and did not have amended expense reports to file Monday. In a separate motion, the board decided to give Mautino two weeks to file amended reports. If no reports are filed, the case will go to public hearing, which would give the person who filed the complaint subpoena power.

Mautino’s attorney indicated the Auditor General could use his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because of an ongoing federal investigation into campaign spending.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said that explains a lot. “That tells you everything you need to know right there. He’s not willing to answer questions because he may have to answer to them in a criminal matter,” Ives said.

* The issue is already showing up in campaigns…

CHICAGO – State Representative Dwight Kay along with a group of suburban House lawmakers will hold a press conference on Wednesday, July 13th at the James R. Thompson Center to announce a new House resolution to address the ongoing situation with Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino.

WHO: State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon)
And other suburban lawmakers

WHEN: Wednesday, July 13th at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Blue Room (15th Floor)
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

       

26 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    ===State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said that explains a lot. “That tells you everything you need to know right there. He’s not willing to answer questions because he may have to answer to them in a criminal matter,” Ives said.===

    There goes that “innocent until proven guilty” ideal.

    Ugh.

    There’s enough there without the “will convict, then we’ll have a trial” mentality.


  2. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    “There goes that “innocent until proven guilty” ideal.”

    Jeanne Ives has always been a cafeteria constitutionalist.

    – MrJM


  3. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    I certainly don’t begrudge him his Constitutional rights. I might have to begrudge him serving as Auditor General of the state while exercising them, though.


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    Have the federales asked the state board to hold off? They’ve been known to waive off other bodies in the past.

    Ives must have missed that Constitution class at West Point. Perhaps she was shining up the old and faded Confederate uniform.


  5. - train111 - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    So what’s Rep. Kay’s take on ‘having to cross state lines’ to speak to the press at the Thompson Center? I mean all those adds about bashing Chicago and now he goes there.


  6. - illini - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    I have to be wondering why Rep. Kay, from my former home town, is taking the lead on this - and with a presser in Chicago of all places. Is there something going on that I am missing?


  7. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:21 pm:

    Enough’s enough. This just doesn’t appear to be a trivial issue or amount.

    Auditor General is a special role, and Frank might have to walk away based on appearances, unfair or not.


  8. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    Special Kay looks a little desperate


  9. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    illini, I think it’s just a way to get Kay in the spotlight for something and to distract from all the heat he’s been getting. Word on the street is that a lot of different groups have been reading him the riot act lately. (SIUE, Chamber, Womens groups)


  10. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:38 pm:

    Kay lost a lot of street cred when we failed so miserably at the NGSA bid.


  11. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 12:43 pm:

    Sorry let me get back to the post. I think it’s high time this issue got resolved. I think the charges should have been answered months ago. Let’s just get this over with. We know how this tune goes.


  12. - Wheatonite - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    If Rep. Ives put 1/4 of the effort in to representing her district and sponsoring legislation as she has in bashing Frank on her Facebook page she just might be a half way decent public official. Talk about an obsession with the Auditor General…


  13. - BluegrassBoy - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    Mautino’s just running out the clock prolonging the inevitable.
    Why weren’t these ethical lapses caught BEFORE he was confirmed by acclaimation by his fellow legislators?


  14. - illini - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    Honeybear - I lived in the area for 20 years and admittedly have lost some touch with what is happening on the ground. You confirmed my suspicions.

    Now lets see what Bob Romanik has to say about all this!!!!!!!!


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===caught BEFORE he was confirmed by acclaimation===

    I dunno. The HGOPs targeted him for defeat in 2014 and very nearly beat him. But their oppo firm didn’t find it, either.


  16. - RTR - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    I’m not sure it’s made any style books yet, but I’m pretty sure that when referencing the Illinois Policy Institute’s news network, the term “news” should be put in quotations.


  17. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:09 pm:

    Wonder how that resolution is going to fare in the House.


  18. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    HAAAAA! well played Illini! Actually I’d love to hear what Romanik says about it. It might be far from factual or wise but it would be entertaining!


  19. - illini - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    Honeybear - don’t forget he is in the “entertainment” business.


  20. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    I do like Frank, and admire and empathize with what he’s gone through personally, but the water is getting pretty high here. It’s been far too lengthy without any reasonable or believable explanation. It’s more than sloppy. If there’s any honorable way out of this now, he should consider it.


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    ===caught BEFORE he was confirmed by acclaimation===

    Simple, there’s not much there. The accusations are based on innuendo. If you look at the reports filed with the Board of Elections, it is clear where the money was spent. After January 1, a couple of things changed. 1) Mautino clean out his office. Since the Board of Elections only requires 3 years of records be retained, it is likely that all the older stuff got tossed. (The big $$$ amounts posted in the news refer to 10 years+ spending.) 2) As Auditor General, Mautino no longer has access to staff and funds to do the research and answer these questions rapidly. It’s all on him and he has a full time job. Also, his new position is a lot more restrictive in terms of what he can say or do.

    The Republicans waited until he was in a very poor defensive position and put out information that looks bad. The underlying assumption is that most people will not look thru the actual reports and run the numbers and think about what it takes to run a campaign for state rep and support local campaigns in three counties. As a reminder, the expenditures questioned are: cash for campaign workers (from checks written to the local bank) and money to the local service station for gasoline and maintenance.

    The Republican’s are counting on Mautino following the rules and advice of lawyers: supply the information required & give the feds precedence. If the Republican’s really thought Mautino was guilty of something serious, they would sit back and wait. They are push for a trial by media where innuendo beats facts.


  22. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 3:29 pm:

    Pot, C’mon. That tin foil hat is on so tight, it’s squeezing the blood from your brain.


  23. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 4:40 pm:

    No tin foil hat today. How else do you explain the Republicans ignoring these campaign finance issues that they now find so abhorrent?

    When this first came out, I went to the BoE web site and looked up the reports. It was clear where and how the money was spent, so what’s the big deal? One of the early “problems” was the $$$ spent on food, but a look at the reports showed that the office staff was getting lunch once or twice a week. At one point, the Edgar County Watchdogs reported “…there were $26,000 in loans and $94,000 in payments on said loans.” However, according to the BoE filed reports, there were $56,000 in loans and payments of $56,000 in principle and $2,768.78 in interest. The ECW allegations were widely reported by news organizations across the state, including on at least one Chicago TV news show. The numbers were easy to check; however, no one saw fit to do so.

    So, is my assertion that the accusations are based on innuendo supported? I think so. Are some Republicans taking advantage of the news media’s willingness to repeat without checking? Absolutely. If Mautino’s finances were truly an issue, does anyone really think the Republicans would not have been all over it? The 2014 race saw a couple of hundred thousand dollars worth of negative fliers dumped on Mautino in the last 6 weeks. People were getting several fliers a day! Yet this was not worthy of even one flier?


  24. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 4:46 pm:

    Pot, I have to agree with a guy here. First of all, “the Republicans” didn’t break this story. More importantly, the shaky expenses go far beyond payments to campaign workers. Further, Frank didn’t help himself when he held one last fundraiser after he was appointed AG to fund a “shredding party.”


  25. - Justacitizen - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 9:11 pm:

    The auditor general’s office loses credibility every day until this is resolved. I thought Frank would step down to enable his auditors to carry on without this cloud. These delays and extensions help no one.


  26. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jul 12, 16 @ 11:22 pm:

    I have a problem with someone stepping down when allegations are made. There is a process for investigation for a reason. I think the process needs to be followed. Imagine if the AG’s office used the standard put forth by the Republicans. There would be no need for auditors, just cast around for allegations and write audit findings based on whatever accusations are proffered.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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