Commission investigation potentially puts Quinn more on the defensive for financial abuses detailed in state audit.
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Legislative Audit Commission voted to grant subpoena power in its investigation of Governor Pat Quinn's troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Program. The program, which Quinn created just before the 2010 election, authorized and distributed $55 million in anti-violence funds for the Chicago area. However, the Illinois Auditor General says much of the money was misspent or is unaccounted for. Quinn killed the program in 2012 after Republicans threatened to push their own audit of the program.
The Cook County State's Attorney and federal officials are also investigating possible criminal misuse of funds from the program.
Quinn has denied any wrongdoing while also acknowledging serious flaws in the program and the way the funding was handled. Besides the $55 million originally budgeted, Republican legislators are pushing a bill investigating how another $40 million was spent on the program.
The vote is just another blow for the embattled Governor, who also faces an investigation into his use of federal dollars for patronage hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation. The possibility of the legislature issuing subpoenas for documents and possibly conducting hearings comes in a year when the Governor faces a tough re-election fight.
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