CHICAGO - Wednesday, State Rep. David Reis (R-St Anne) appeared at the Central Management Services offices with a forensic auditor along, and asked once again for access to the email system to find communications having anything to do with dispersing Neighborhood Recovery Initiative funds.
Reis' request was firmly rejected by the department officials, citing state and federal law and security concerns.
While the governor's office has released over 2000 emails on how $54 million was spent in the NRI program, Reis said he's looking for responses to those email messages that are missing. One witness before the Legislative Audit Commission - former Quinn deputy chief of staff Toni Irving - said she had 7300 emails on the topic.
Those are the ones Rep. Reis wants to see.
“The governor’s office and Gov. Quinn himself have repeatedly stated that they want to be open and transparent, and that anyone involved with this failed program should be open and forthcoming,” Reis told the Chicago Sun-Times. “What we witnessed today was a denial of my rights as a legislator to review state records. Quinn’s people are not following his own orders.”
As reported here yesterday, Republican AG candidate Paul Schimpf held a press conference calling on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to recuse herself from providing any legal advice to the state and federal officials investigating NRI for misuse of funds and questionable accounting practices.
"Ms. Madigan’s inability to understand that there is a conflict of interest in this situation calls into question her competence to serve as Attorney General for the State of Illinois," Schimpf said in a statement. "Her belief is contrary to the fundamentals of practicing law as defined by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.7 on Conflicts of Interest."
"Ms. Madigan, as Attorney General, was in a position to provide oversight on this program and failed to do so – a fact not in dispute. She is a material witness in the investigation of the failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative and needs to recuse herself as soon as possible in this matter," Schimpf said.
Schimpf said no one denies that Lisa Madigan was in a position to put a stop to the governor's questionable practices.
"But instead of putting a halt to them ... she did nothing."