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Mautino fund fined $5K, case won’t be forwarded for prosecution

Monday, May 15, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

The Illinois State Board of Elections could determine Monday what sanctions it will impose on Auditor General Frank Mautino’s campaign fund from his time as a state lawmaker.

A year ago, the board ordered Mautino’s campaign to clarify tens of thousands of dollars in spending at Spring Valley bank and a service station in his district. Mautino has taken no action on that order and has exercised his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

Last month, it was formally determined at a hearing that Mautino was in violation of the board’s order. The hearing officer has since recommended the elections board fine the Mautino camp for failure to amend campaign reports.

The board voted today to fine Mautino’s campaign fund $5,000, but split 4-4 on party lines about whether to refer the matter to a state prosecutor.

* Mautino’s campaign fund is closed and he can’t re-open it without violating state law, which prohibits the auditor general from doing any campaign stuff

For starters, any fines approved by the election board wouldn’t be paid by Mautino personally, but by his campaign committee. Further, Mautino’s campaign committee won’t pay any fines because it was closed Dec. 31, 2015, and no longer exists.

* Meanwhile, this is from one of Dan Proft’s newspapers

Auditor General Frank Mautino needs to be fired by the same people who hired him, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) told the House on Thursday.

“Make no mistake about this: Our auditor general should be removed from by this body,” Ives said. “This body put him into the office and only can this body, with the Senate, take him out of office, and it is our duty to do so at this point.”

Ives demanded the passage of House Joint Resolution, which calls for Mautino’s ouster following controversies regarding discrepancies in his campaign spending. […]

“Specifically, [Mautino] willfully violated the board’s May 18, 2016, order vis-à-vis failing to amend disclosure reports filed in 2014 and 2015 to one, reflect an accurate breakdown between gas and repair made to his account; two, identify the actual recipients of itemized expenditures; and three, identify the specific purpose for the expenditures,” Ives said.

* And this is from the Illinois Policy Institute’s radio network

State Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines, who upon taking office called for Mautino to resign, has since changed her tune.

“The only evidence that the state board of elections found was failure to file an amendment timely, that is not an egregious violation,” Murphy said. […]

Murphy said if federal investigators had something, they’d act.

“If it is a significant crime and if they have evidence, [the feds] move right away, she said. “If there is nothing, then the process seems to be slowed down.

…Adding… Actually, if you click here, you’ll see that Sen. Murphy didn’t call on Mautino to resign, she said he should take a leave of absence during the probe.

…Adding More… Greg Bishop sent me the audio and Sen. Murphy did, indeed, say to him that she had wanted Mautino to “step down.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - walker - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Too early to assume there won’t be other fallout.

  2. - Kan_Man - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Today is a first. I agree with Proft and Ives. This is further embarrassment to Illinois and Democrat leaders. Just get it over with and fire this guy. He lied and and can’t manage his campaign account. The only case the auditor general was involved in this year and HE was fined $5k.

  3. - Lech W - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    This is the best news possible for the GOP, it leaves a clear target for the 2018 races…look at the corrupt Dems. Of course we have not yet heard from the Feds yet.

  4. - Slim Pickens - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    It no longer matters your party affiliation. The only bi-partisanship our state will ever witness is party-neutral corruption.

    For a state with a (recent) history of so many politicians with “legal issues,” you’d think someone would start to care about even the appearance of impropriety.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 1:00 pm:

    Vertical Integration as play with Proft’s papers and the IPI Radio…

    … Rauner is just running the media empire… flawlessly.


    To the Post,

    Not looking that great, a $5K fine, the non-prosecution… as the Feds continue their own investigation.

    The only good Mautino did was not give testimony that can be used if there is a federal indictment or trial.

    The hammering and shaking will continue on many media platforms. This is what they were designed to do. Will it be effective? Dunno. Dunno, but we’ll find out how it may work with Mautino(?)

  6. - The Way I See It - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    Why is Mautino staying in office instead of resigning? Obviously a paycheck is nice, but its gotta increase the size of the target on his chest and will cost many of friends politically …

  7. - Amalia - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    it is no shock that Laura Murphy is being written about. Proft just got Susan Sweeney elected to a Maine Township Trustee post. He’s peddling his right wing perspective and the entire Republican party out there is going along with it. Since Sweeney already ran for state rep agains Moylan, clearly Proft has plans. this is why LOCAL elections matter. All the Dems who sat on the sidelines or who spent this winter and early spring focusing on Congressional races (wow, the emails….) are missing the point, and it’s not just about food…GO LOCAL.

  8. - mama - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    ==“The only evidence that the state board of elections found was failure to file an amendment timely, that is not an egregious violation,” Murphy said.”==

    Based on this information, why should Mautino resign?

  9. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:20 pm:

    When asked to produce records from the service station where the $200,000 was spent, Mautino’s lawyer said those records were “no longer available.”

    I wonder if the business kept those records for tax purposes after Mautino’s campaign destroyed their own copies. I would think the feds would ask the same question.

    Those records would show whether money was spent inappropriately, perhaps the crux of the federal case.

  10. - Swift - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    So Mautino files , at the very least, incorrect spending reports, doesn’t file corrected reports as ordered and gets fined for not following the order, however no sanction for filing the “incorrect” reports, but the campaign committee no longer exists so the fine will never be paid because the entity fined no longer exists.

    Sounds about right for Illinois, I don’t see why we expect politicians to account for their campaign funding when we don’t hold them accountable on how the vote to spend taxpayer funds.

  11. - Little Difference - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:44 pm:

    =The only bi-partisanship our state will ever witness is party-neutral corruption.=
    But what about the Exelon legislation? - Oh forget about that, it’s legalized corruption.

  12. - Chicagonk - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    It’s amazing what you can still get away with in this state in the name of campaigning.

  13. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    ==When asked to produce records from the service station where the $200,000 was spent, Mautino’s lawyer said those records were “no longer available.”==

    Actually, the last two years of records were retained, as required by law, and were turned over, as was indicated in the Hearing Officer’s report and mentioned by the Board of Elections today.

    The core of the argument is what Jeannie Ives said: Mautino failed to amend disclosure reports filed in 2014 and 2015.

    Mautino’s attorneys contend that reopening the committee would result in a violation of the rules governing the Auditor General.

    Ironically, if Mautino’s reporting was done improperly, it was done so with the go ahead from the Board of Elections AND the same reporting style was used by Ives and Wherli, two of Mautino’s biggest critics. One might wonder if Ives is in the process of amending her reports to “identify the actual recipients of itemized expenditures…and…identify the specific purpose for the expenditures”

  14. - justacitizen - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Who is auditing the auditor. Obviously no one. lol

  15. - Winnin' - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    “–One might wonder if Ives is in the process of amending her reports to “identify the actual recipients of itemized expenditures…and…identify the specific purpose for the expenditures”–”

    Undoubtedly, we will be informed of such by the IPI and Profft news services. /s

  16. - FormerILResident - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    ==the same reporting style was used by Ives and Wherli==

    This is a false narrative pushed by Mautino’s defense team. Frank’s lawyers scoured the reports of Wherli and Ives and found a few vague entries similar to the ENTIRETY of Frank’s reporting and raised it at the hearing (and in their briefing) in an effort to muddy the waters.

  17. - Ward Heeler - Monday, May 15, 17 @ 6:29 pm:

    End the embarrassment now, Democrats, dump Mautino and stop the bleeding.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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