The Legislative Audit Commission meetings were part of the panel’s statutory authority to review audits of state agencies.
In February, Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland released a scathing audit on the first two years of NRI. It found that the program was hastily implemented just before the 2010 gubernatorial election, that Chicago aldermen influenced what agencies received the nearly $55 million, and that the entire program lacked proper oversight.
During the hearings, none of the individuals who testified could provide any documentation showing how neighborhoods were actually chosen for the program.
The commission voted to keep the NRI audit open while more evidence and documentation is collected. The panel has also tasked Auditor General Holland with additional work in regards to an NRI microloan program that was discussed during testimony. An additional resolution is pending to audit the second two years of the NRI program.
In addition to the ongoing LAC review of NRI, multiple grand jury subpoenas have been filed on the program, including two from the US Attorney’s offices in Chicago and Springfield, as well as from the Cook County State’s Attorney.