Republicans are eager to put the governor on the witness stand when lawmakers examine the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), a member of the Legislative Audit Commission, wants the governor to testify before the commission next week, and he promises it won’t be a political circus if he does. “I suspect there’ll be no circus-like atmosphere but rather a very solemn one, one based in inquiry and trying to get to the bottom of what happened, to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
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Sandack also said if Gov. Pat Quinn is asking for “transparency” from Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner by asking him to make public is tax returns and accompanying schedules, Quinn should be transparent and appear before the commission at next week’s hearing. The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative was a $54 million program the governor established in 2010 ostensibly to combat an epidemic of street violence. The auditor general this year characterized the program as poorly run. Republicans claim it was a political slush fund for the governor’s campaign.
Quinn says he’s cooperating with all inquiries, including a subpoena from the federal grand jury in Springfield asking for evidence. “I have told everyone who works for me to provide any and all information to whoever requests it, and we have complied with that,” he said. Current and former members of the administration will appear before lawmakers next week.