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Neighborhood Recovery Initiative
Tue June 24, 2014
Two Insiders Dropped From Subpoena List
Subpoenas are going out to five former members of Gov. Pat Quinn's administration who were involved with his plagued anti-violence program, but two other insiders will not be served. As Quinn seeks reelection, he continues to be dogged by a program rolled out just before his last, close race for governor.
Republicans contend the timing wasn't a coincidence; they allege Quinn rushed to introduce the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to curry favor with Chicago area leaders before the 2010 election. A state audit and media reports reveal it was botched.
A bipartisan group of legislators just voted to further look into it by issuing subpoenas to seven people.
The Democratic co-chair of the panel, Rep. Frank Mautino of Spring Valley, says Pony Express is delivering the subpoenas to most of them, including Jack Lavin, Quinn's last chief of staff.
But Mautino refused to sign off on two. He says a pair of top-level employees at the state's commerce department shouldn't be included in this probe because they, and their department, were barely part of the initial state audit.
"My focus is on this audit, and the many, many things that were done wrong ... that should never be repeated," Mautino said.
The panel's Republican co-chair, Sen. Jason Barickman
of Bloomington, says it's stonewalling.
"The public is left wondering what it is that the Democrats don't want us to find out about this NRI program," Barickman said. "What would these individuals, what do they have to tell us, that the Democrats don't want the public to know about?"
The hearing is set for mid-July, though it's unclear what those subpoenaed might say, or even if they'll show.