* I also told subscribers about this earlier today. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board’s executive director Brent Fischer testified at a House appropriations committee yesterday and was asked about Forrest Ashby. He was the guy Mike McClain was trying to protect when he vouched for him to two Pat Quinn administration officials. McClain said Ashby “kept his mouth shut on Jones’ ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items. He is loyal to the administration.”
Tony Arnold at WBEZ…
“You’re saying that you paid Mr. Ashby $60,000 a year not to actually do the curriculum review and development but to just observe some classes and hire some interns?” Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, asked Fischer.
“Well I mean he could participate but it wasn’t like he was gonna be the ultimate decider as far as what the curriculum was,” Fischer responded.
“Right,” Mazzochi shot back. “So what’s his value add for $60,000?”
Fischer said he did not publicly post the contractual position, but instead offered it directly to Ashby since the two already had a rapport. Fischer testified that he knew Ashby because he had volunteered on one of Fischer’s own campaigns. But he added that nobody from Pritzker’s campaign, the governor’s office, the speaker’s office, or McClain recommended he hire Ashby on contract.
* Just before the House adjourned today, Rep. Mazzochi rose to say this…
I would like to alert all the members of this chamber that back in January many of you were extremely upset about the fact that a man named Forrest Ashby was being given political insider privileges and perks in connection with potentially keeping his mouth shut about ghost-payrollers and covering up knowledge about a rape in Champaign.
Yesterday at the Public Appropriations Committee hearing meeting was the first time we have on our side of the aisle had an opportunity to actually ask someone from the administration, what was going on with that. And as it turned out, this same person was given a $60,000 a year, no-bid job, based on his personal connections to the executive director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board.
We have called for investigations, we have called for transparency, as to what this person did, what did he know, and more directly, what was Mike McClain doing. Who was he getting into these political positions. We don’t agree with ghost-payrolling and if you don’t think that this kind of thing isn’t ghost-payrolling, I don’t know what you think is.
We’ve called for investigations, and you’ve done nothing. You haven’t convened any committees, you haven’t done any investigations, you haven’t made sure that this is not happening throughout all levels of our government. And I would like this body, because you said you were upset, you said you were concerned, to actually do something.
This was two months ago, that you found out about this, and you’ve done nothing. It’s unacceptable, and I would really like to know when you’re going to finally tell your leadership that this kind of corrupt culture is not acceptable here in Springfield, and finally start doing something about it.