State senator wants answers on governor's anti-violence program

By WEEK Producer

May 6, 2014 Updated May 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Governor Pat Quinn's problematic anti-violence program for Chicago is going to be the target of an investigation by the legislature.

Republican State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he wants to know if the $55-million program squandered public money.

His legislative audit commission gave itself subpoena powers by a 10-1 bipartisan vote Tuesday morning.

"I think the roll call vote suggests this issue is important to Republicans and Democrats everywhere around this state. We need to be public stewards of taxpayer dollars," Barrickman said.

Governor Quinn says the vote was politics and that he shut down the program when the Inspector General questioned a lack of oversight of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

"Two years ago we shut this program down, abolished the agency that was running it and I think that's the best way to go forward," Quinn said.

The anti-violence program also faces a criminal investigation.

Last week, the Cook County State's Attorney subpoenaed thousands of documents relating to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

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