The news that Quinn has been shifting money to programs in Chicago drew especially sharp criticism because the money is being taken from a statewide program that awards grants on a competitive basis. Instead, Quinn has been spending the funds on many of the same providers who are under investigation for the botched Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.
The shift in taxpayer funds has occurred despite repeated assurances from Quinn that he shut down the NRI program in 2012. During a one-week period in September, Quinn pumped an additional $400,000 into just one entity – the Chicago Area Project. The Chicago Area Project is already under investigation for its hiring of the husband of Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown. The $400,000 brought the total handed to the group to over $1 million, less than six weeks before the election.