NRI investigation
8:18 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Legislative Panel Postpones Probe

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:18 am

A hearing centered on a state anti-violence program has been postponed until October.  A commission of legislators voted to put their investigation on hold, while a federal criminal one proceeds.

The Dept. of Justice asked that they not call former members of Gov. Pat Quinn's administration to testify about their involvement with the "Neighborhood Recovery Initiative."

Legislators acquiesced, but not without a lot of partisan rancor at the start -- Democrats seemingly protecting Quinn, Republicans trying to prolong things to embarrass him. The stakes are high; it's an election year.

Ultimately, they unanimously agreed to wait until early October -- when the feds say their probe should be complete.

Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) is a commission co-chair.

"Quite frankly, it's an ugly process.  Absolutely the outcome of today is incredibly important. We know that the NRI program is a failure to the Illinois taxpayers; it's a failure to the people it was intended to serve."

The program involved grants to Chicago area organizations to cut down on crime.

But there are questions about why money was given to Democratic strongholds when more violent communities didn't get funding.

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