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Quinn audit

SPRINGFIELD -- A new audit finds more than $20 million in state tax may have been misused.
SPRINGFIELD -- A new audit finds more than $20 million in state tax may have been misused. Now lawmakers are calling for a criminal investigation.

In 2010, Governor Quinn launched a brand new program called the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. It aimed to curb violence in some of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods. But, a new audit calls into question where the bulk of the program's budget went.

"These were taxpayer dollars. No accountability," Senator Jason Barickman (R) said.

The report points out the initiative was rolled out too fast, didn't meet its goals and was riddled with conflicts of interest and financial mismanagement. Critics say Quinn is to blame.

"I view this thing as no more than a political slush fund for the governor."

That's because the initiative came just weeks before the last governor's election, which Quinn won.

"This is taxpayer dollars. Tens of millions of dollars at the same time when we're closing our prisons. When we're not funding our local school districts. Suddenly there were tens of millions of dollars to spend on people walking around in parades and passing out leaflets door to door," Senator Barickman said.

That's why lawmakers are asking officials to take a closer look to see if the governor broke any laws.

"This is one of the things, the waste, the fraud and the abuse you hear about. This is one of them."

A spokesperson at the governor's office said all of the issues from the audit have already been resolved.
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