1 month, 4 weeks ago from suntimes.com
From from suntimes.com:
When the Illinois Department of Transportation wants to design roads and bridges, it turns to a panel of state-government employees and private citizens to help decide which companies get lucrative state contracts for that work.
Now, a Bradley University engineering professor who was a member of the little-known advisory body called the IDOT Consultant Selection Committee has resigned because of a flap over his co-hosting a political fund-raiser for state Sen. Martin Sandoval.
The problem: Officials of engineering firms who were asked to attend the Sandoval fund-raiser this summer complained that Amir Al-Khafaji’s role as a co-host of the $1,000-a-ticket event “certainly gave the perception of political pressure” to attend “in exchange for favoritism” in the awarding of state work, according to emails obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Ann L. Schneider, Gov. Pat Quinn’s transportation secretary, ordered an internal investigation on July 12 after learning Al-Khafaji was named in a Sandoval campaign email promoting the “Chairman’s Dinner” benefitting Sandoval’s campaign fund. Sandoval, a Cicero Democrat, chairs the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee.
Al-Khafaji’s name also appeared on invitations for the fund-raiser, which listed him as co-host along with state Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago).
Six days after the investigation began, Schneider suspended Al-Khafaji from his post on the influential selection committee.