Despite Governor Quinn’s claims that his controversial $55 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) did not distribute any funds until well after the last gubernatorial election, e-mails obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times indicate his administration did in fact attempt to distribute large amounts of taxpayer dollars just three weeks before the November 2010 election.
The revelation is the latest to emerge as several investigations into the failed program continue. A scathing audit of Governor Quinn’s NRI released in February has so far given rise to federal and state criminal investigations and an ongoing investigation by the bipartisan Legislative Audit Commission, which has scheduled a meeting July 16.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Better Government Association reported new instances of funds being channeled to politically connected individuals and groups, including a grant of more than $466,000 to an organization tied to a strong political supporter of the Governor. The group paid teens and young adults $8.50 an hour to pass out anti-violence literature at public events.