10 months, 3 weeks ago From qctimes.com
From From qctimes.com:
A panel of lawmakers could open a third line of inquiry into a troubled anti-violence program that is dogging Gov. Pat Quinn.
State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, will ask the Legislative Audit Commission Tuesday for the rarely sought authority to subpoena records related to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.
His request comes as the program already has become the target of investigators in the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Cook County prosecutor's office over questions surrounding who got a piece of the $54 million program and when people were paid.
Auditor General Bill Holland said the program was "hastily implemented," failed to target the most violent neighborhoods and allowed Chicago aldermen to play a role in how grant funds were distributed.
Republicans say the program was a "political slush fund" designed to help Quinn, a Democrat from Chicago, win support for his election effort in 2010.
Barickman, who co-chairs the audit commission, said Monday the panel should move ahead with its own probe no matter whether others are looking into the program.
"I don't think we necessarily know what the U.S. Attorney is investigating," Barickman said. "We absolutely have a statutory authority to review the audit and do our own fact-finding."
Jane Stricklin, executive director of the audit commission, said records show the panel has sought similar powers only twice before — in 1981 and 1975.