A spokesman for Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino confirmed May 19 the U.S. Attorney’s office is probing the former legislator’s campaign expenses.
Spokesman Ryan Keith said Mautino “is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's office in its investigation.” Keith said it would be inappropriate to comment further until the issue is resolved.
The Illinois Times newspaper first reported Mautino campaign workers have received federal grand jury subpoenas.
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The Edgar County Watchdogs blog broke the story about Mautino’s campaign spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at a bank and service station in his legislative district.
Watchdogs co-founder Kirk Allen said he’s elated there may be some accountability.
“We have to be able to trust him,” Allen said. “If we can’t trust that he’s managed his own affairs within the scopes of the law, within the confines of our laws, then we can’t trust him as auditor general.”
Allen said it now makes sense why Mautino has kept quite.
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” Allen said.
Springfield area defense attorney Dan Noll said a federal probe doesn’t always result in a prosecution. However, he said with suspected white-collar crimes there will be witnesses and a lot of paper evidence.
“When a grand jury is convened, they’re not doing it just for a frolic. They have some information that something has happened and they’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” Noll said.
The Illinois State Board of Elections gave Mautino until July 1 to produce amended expense reports.