A state audit released today criticized an anti-violence program launched by Governor Pat Quinn as a $55 million dollar boondoggle. It comes, of course, as the governor seeks re-election- and his opponents are capitalizing on that.
The governor says the problems have been found and fixed. But politically, the damage is done.
Auditor General William Holland’s review finds The Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, while not preventing much violence, was also failing to keep an eye on its tens of millions in taxpayer funding.
Holland says the program itself was hastily implemented and completely left out some of Chicago’s most violence neighborhoods. He says its lack of financial controls extended to the very basics, like time-sheets and that the community organizations it worked with weren’t held to efficient standards. Holland added that in some cases, city aldermen were telling the authority how and where to spend its money.
Ironically, the governor rolled it out in 2010 while in the midst of a tough re-election campaign. Quinn’s office says the problems were uncovered and addressed nearly two years ago.
But Republicans, in the middle of another campaign, argue the offenses are impeachable and even criminal.
State republicans say they will settle for no less than a criminal investigation.