This week’s hearing on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative is likely to feature witnesses who say little or nothing. That won’t satisfy Republican lawmakers who want answers. Illinois’ Legislative Audit Commission is scheduled to hear from current and former Quinn administration officials on Wednesday and Thursday regarding the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a $55 million anti-violence program that the auditor general says was poorly run.
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State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), a member of the commission, says the audit was great, but there’s more that must come out. “There’s a lot of un-answered questions. The audit is incredibly detailed, but there’s a bevy of questions as to who, what, why, where, that need to go answered,” he said. The key witness would be Barbara Shaw, the former head of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, which ran the program. However, with a criminal investigation under way by the U.S. attorney in Springfield, the seven witnesses who were subpoenaed are likely to say little or nothing.
Republicans have asked Gov. Pat Quinn to testify, but he has said no. Republicans believe the program was a political slush fund for the governor during the 2010 campaign.