A legislative panel voted Tuesday to seek subpoena power to investigate the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, Gov. Pat Quinn’s Chicago anti-crime program he began shortly before the 2010 election and, a state audit suggests, funded political activities instead. “The fact that there are individuals or agencies pursuing questions that may result in criminal charges is separate and distinct from the objectives which we have in this committee,” State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said in seeking the power.
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Barickman and State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) co-chair the Legislative Audit Commission – and Mautino cast the only No vote. “This is truly an unprecedented changing in direction and the power of this commission,” he said. “I just have concerns from the process structure and the fact that we are giving subpoena powers when we’re not staffed up for it … and which already are being investigated by the people proper to do that.”
The allegations include no money given to Chicago’s most violence-plagued neighborhoods, and money being paid for people to march in parades.
Cook County and federal prosecutors are investigating. Quinn’s office has denied wrongdoing, stressing that when the problems were discovered, the program was discontinued.
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