* Buried deep in this AP story about a conveniently timed legislative hearing yesterday about the AP’s story yesterday on secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology Hardik Bhatt’s spending on an executive-assistance firm, is this more interesting (to me) nugget…
Bhatt also deflected committee questions about a transfer last fall by defeated GOP Comptroller Leslie Munger of $71 million from general revenue funds — available to pay providers of human services — to accounts from which DoIT operates. […]
Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, pounded Bhatt over Munger’s transfer of $71 million after she lost a special November election to Mendoza. He said the two special accounts DoIT relies on had $85 million on hand. DoIT chief of staff Tyler Clark told Guzzardi, “We needed the money to pay bills.”
Guzzardi responded, “The state owes a lot of money to a lot of vendors out of” the general revenue fund. “Here, $70 million was put on the front line to go out to the vendors you all have, which makes the line longer.”
Bhatt said he did not ask for the money and pointed out that information technology improvements benefit all state services.
Bhatt didn’t ask for the money? And DoIT had $85 million on hand and then got another $71 million to “pay bills” while social service providers were going under?
Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office told me a while ago that they were looking into whether they could transfer Munger’s DoIT cash back to GRF. But, I was told, doing so would be “unprecedented.”