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Could be awhile before Mautino’s hearing

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016

* Finke

Auditor General Frank Mautino did not file amended campaign disclosure reports with the state Board of Elections, setting the stage for a public hearing into his use of campaign money while serving in the Illinois House.

Board of Elections executive director Steve Sandvoss said Mautino did not file the amended reports by Monday’s deadline.

“If they did not produce documents by the time they were required to, the matter would be set for a public hearing,” Sandvoss said. “It’s hard to say at this point when the actual hearing would take place.”

Sandvoss said he hoped something could be scheduled within a month or two, but the actual timing depended on a number of variables. They include selecting a hearing officer, trying to accommodate the participants’ varying schedules and whether any preliminary motions are filed that have to be disposed of first.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    So, the folks who want a public hearing will get what they want.

  2. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    Is it just me, or are they telegraphing “the delay” here. Ugh.

  3. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    It’s a race to see if the public hearing date can be set before Mr. Mautino is eligible for his Auditor General state pension. Even if it is set before, there would usually be some kind of comment and review period before any official action could be taken.

  4. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    Yeah, this delay smells to me too. “Trying to accommodate the participants’ varying schedules?”

  5. - allknowingmasterofracoondom - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:33 am:

    What a shame. Frank is a good guy. Hoping there is some sort of explanation but I fear the time for a good explanation is long gone.

  6. - Robert the Bruce - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    Perhaps someone should request the Auditor General do a performance audit to see why scheduling a hearing takes so long.

  7. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    5 1/2 months and counting to qualify for the reciprocal pension.

    He just has to hope that the FBI investigation doesn’t find anything. If he gets convicted of a crime related to his service, he loses all his pensions.

  8. - Madame Defarge - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    The suggestion that Mautino is delaying this for his AG pension to kick in is bogus. ASSUMING he is guilty and convicted, the actions took place while he was a legislator. That will whip out his legislative time in the pension system regardless of the time he has as Auditor General.

    At best he might get a year or two credit for the AG time–not much of a pension even if it is adequate to vest which I don’t think it is.

  9. - Former IL Resident - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    I’m still waiting for Frank’s defenders like pot to provide examples of GA members whose campaigns spent similarly on gas/car repairs. As I noted before, a local paper did a comparison which showed that among a limited sample his spending dwarfed that of others (including those from neighboring districts and others in leadership), but I’m sure that that particular newspaper just missed others with records similar to Frank…

  10. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    I don’t know if it’s correct, but the Ottawa Times continues to report that if Mautino spends one year in office as auditor general (he started Jan. 1), his pension will jump $60,000 a year from what it would have been as a legislator.

    He has already served 7 months in the auditor’s job. Delays could easily eat up another 5 months.

  11. - Anon2U - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    Great news! Democrats will be beat over the head with this on all campaign fronts now through November. Thanks for the gift Frank!

  12. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    A delayed resignation has been telegraphed by the incumbent’s camp. This is a shame; Frank is a very likable guy. I like him.

  13. - Former IL Resident - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 1:46 pm:

    A delayed resignation has been telegraphed by the incumbent’s camp.

    What do you mean by this?

  14. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==I’m still waiting for Frank’s defenders like pot to provide examples of GA members whose campaigns spent similarly on gas/car repairs.==

    Happy to do it!

    From personal experience, I ran (unsuccessfully) for state rep a few years ago. My campaign fund paid mileage. Had I charged all the miles and paid the full rate (I charged 25 cents/mile), it would have used up all my limited funds. Driving around a rural district is a big expense. Candidates and office-holders choose which expenses they charge to the campaign and which they absorb.

    Let’s look at Jason Barickman (he has a nearby rural district).

    In 2014, Barickman spent the following on mileage: $1154 in the 1st quarter, $529 in the 2nd quarter, $2171 in the 3rd quarter, and $2000 in the 4th quarter on mileage. He also spent around $1600 on repairs in the 2nd quarter.

    That’s $7454 out of $33,579 in total expenditures charged to the campaign for 2014. That’s 22% of the year’s expenses. I would guess he could have charged more if the $$$ were available.

    For comparison, Mautino’s 2014 expenditures were much higher (he was in a contentious race). $27,630 on auto repairs and gasoline out of a total $271,098. 10% of that year’s expenditures.

    Bottom line: In a rural district, repairs and mileage eat up a lot of campaign money. If you reimburse workers, the numbers can go sky high.

  15. - Former IL Resident - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    So no, you can’t find a GA member who had similar spending to Frank, Pot. But I give you credit for your spirited effort to put a good spin on things for Frank…

    And seriously, 2014 was the only competitive race that Frank had in the past decade plus. He was also running up those obscenely high gas/repair numbers when he was running unopposed!

  16. - Former IL Resident - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 3:03 pm:

    And why didn’t Frank reimburse himself (or his workers) for mileage? Why did all of his gas/repair business go to a gas station owned by a buddy in his hometown? Seriously, did he just happen to be in Spring Valley every time he needed gas or repair work done on his car. When you couple this with the obscene amounts (which aren’t comparable to any other member of the GA) it’s pretty clear that something stinks here…

  17. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==So no, you can’t find a GA member who had similar spending to Frank, Pot. ==

    Barickman is the first and only GA member I looked at. As a percentage of total campaign spending, he spent twice as much as Mautino. No idea why Mautino paid actual expenses instead of mileage. My guess was that it was more convenient to tell a worker to go down the street and fill up the car or truck or get something that broke fixed.

    ==Seriously, did he just happen to be in Spring Valley every time he needed gas or repair work done on his car.==

    Frank lived in Spring Valley and his office was in Spring Valley a couple of blocks from Happy’s. It’s not exactly a surprise that he would run a tab there.

  18. - Come on! - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 3:47 pm:


    For several reasons I disagree with your thoughts on the auto expense, but let’s put that aside. Please try to explain all the banking issues he has?

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Again, I think it’s a fairly simple question. Can you point to another member of the GA with similar campaign spending on gas/repairs? If his spending is so reasonable, shouldn’t there be others with similar records?

    But we all know that the fact of the matter is that there aren’t others (which explains your lame attempts to pass off Barickman’s spending as comparable to Frank’s…as well as you conveniently ignoring the fact that Frank was engaging in this obscene spending even when running unopposed). And that’s why this spending is troubling to many people (and I haven’t even brought up his odd banking issues). Frank has had more than 6 months to explain himself, and his silence is telling. Back in the early days of this scandal he promised answers, but he clearly never planned on providing any. He hoped that it would just go away. Unfortunately for him, it hasn’t. The people of the state of Illinois deserve better than Frank Mautino and “public servants” of his ilk.

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