U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) isn’t adding his voice to critics of Gov. Pat Quinn, despite a poorly run and possibly politically motivated anti-violence program.
Durbin didn’t shy away from criticizing Quinn last year over Quinn’s supposed lack of leadership when it came to financial issues. “Those were my misgivings—the budget, the pensions. I think he has made an honest effort, and it’s not a popular position to be the governor facing those momentous issues,” Durbin said.
But Durbin isn’t joining in the criticism of the Quinn’s handling of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI), an anti-violence program that is now being investigated by state and federal prosecutors. He does believe, however, that those investigations are warranted.
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“Bill Holland, the auditor general, is a man of integrity, and when he raises questions about how the money was appropriated and spent, those questions need to be answered,” Durbin said.
The auditor general criticized the program as poorly managed; Republicans in Springfield say it was a political slush fund for the governor.
The program is also being probed by the Legislative Audit Commission, which will hold a hearing to discuss Holland’s audit on May 28 in Springfield.
U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) has said his staff is looking into whether federal funds may have been misused by NRI.