Audit criticizes anti-violence program pushed by Quinn

Feb 26, 2014

An audit Tuesday criticized an anti-violence program Governor Pat Quinn pushed during his 2010 election campaign. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, Republicans wasted no time in calling for an investigation.

The non-partisan audit says the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative was "hastily implemented" and did not use standard financial safeguards. It says there's no documentation of how communities were selected, and notes that not all the most violent parts of Chicago were included.

Republican Sen. Tim Bivins, from Dixon, calls it part of a pattern of "legalized theft."

"They take state and federal money, and it goes to various programs that don't work, don't exist, close the doors and nobody can figure out what happened to the money."

The implication is it was targeted to neighborhoods that would help Quinn win the election. Many Republicans called on state ethics officials to investigate. Some went even further, turning to politics, like Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine.

"This is another example of why it is well past time for us to get a new governor in this state."

A spokesman for the Quinn administration says these problems were resolved more than a year ago, and called it a "critical violence prevention program."