Monday, September 29, 2014

US Attorney's Office gives the Thumbs Up for "Unrestricted Hearings" into NRI to Resume on October 8th

A Reliable source tells the Illinois Channel that James A Lewis, the US Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, has given the Legislative Audit Commission a verbal OK, for the Commission to hold "Unrestricted Hearings" into the handling of the NRI program, and that it is not an issue for those hearings to restart as scheduled on October 8th and 9th.

The Legislative Audit Commission held a hearing in Chicago on July 8th, but witnesses called to testify took the 5th Amendment. Another concern that was then voiced is whether the Legislative Audit Commission should delay its investigation until after the US Attorney's Office had completed its investigation, which was expected to be completed within 90 days.  

 After some six hours of wrangling over the question of whether to delay its investigation, the Commission decided to put off their investigation of the Quinn Administratioin's handling of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative [NRI], until October 8th, giving the US Attorney's Office the time it requested to complete its investigation and to question the witnesses before they were called again before the Audit Commission.  

So as of this writing, September 29th, the Audit Commission will resume its work as scheduled on October 8th.   

As a reminder, the Commission's investigation follows a report issued by the Illinois Auditor-General in which he noted numerous faults with the handling of some $50 Million that was spent by Gov Quinn  for the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a programs the Governor said was intended to fight the growing violence in a number of Chicago neighborhoods.  

The NRI program was started in late-summer and fall of 2010, just as the last gubernatorial election was being held.  Some Republicans have raised the issue of whether some of the funds intended to fight violence, were spent instead to help Gov Quinn win the 2010 election.

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