Feds Investigating Governor Quinn’s Cook County Anti-Violence Program

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s violence prevention program in Cook County is under investigation. According to Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) the investigation was inspired by an audit requested by Rep. Kay and his House Republican colleagues. The audit revealed over a two year period, 40% of state funds expended by the anti-violence program were questioned.

In May 2012, State Representative Dwight Kay Chief Co-Sponsored House Resolution 1110 (HR 1110) to audit the state funded program due to concerns as to whether adequate accountability and oversight existed over the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) to ensure tax dollars were spent appropriately. At a press conference held at the Capitol on February 25th, Representatives Kay and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate urged the Auditor General to refer findings from the February 2014 audit of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to the Executive Inspector General for further review and potentially the U.S. Attorney for further investigation of potential criminal activity.

“The Cook County anti-violence program was nothing more than a political slush fund,” said Rep. Kay. “I anticipate Federal investigators will expose the individuals who abused an estimated $50 million in taxpayer dollars, if not more. Blagojevich’s past continues to haunt the current administration; unfortunately the corruption in the Governor’s office continues to cost the taxpayers millions.”

In August of 2010, Governor Quinn’s office gave the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority the duties of creating and administering the anti-violence program. The NRI is a program designed to reduce risk factors associated with violence in 23 communities in Cook County, however according to the state audit, not all the most violent Chicago communities were included in the program. Since October 2010, over $117 million has been earmarked by Governor Quinn, not the legislature to fund the anti-violence program in Chicago and Cook County.

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