"Following a scathing audit issued by the Illinois Auditor General on Governor Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, the Legislative Audit Commission began its legally required public review of that audit and its findings.
We have had a healthy and spirited debate on the Commission. Ultimately, common sense prevailed and – with bipartisan agreement – the Audit Commission has scheduled a two-day public hearing with seven subpoenaed witnesses next week.
The Legislative Affairs office of the Department of Justice – two staff attorneys and an intern from Washington D.C. – has now requested no interviews of those connected to Governor Quinn's failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program for 90 days.
I believe it is appropriate for the Audit Commission to consider that request at our July 16 meeting. We certainly do not want to impede their criminal investigation of the NRI program. However, we also have legislative duties and obligations that we must fulfill to the people of Illinois and our constituents.
Each member of the Audit Commission – myself included – will have to weigh those competing interests to determine whether we change course on a public review of how more than $55 million in taxpayers' money was spent.
However, to be clear, the Audit Commission has already taken legal action. Seven witnesses have been subpoenaed and are compelled by law to attend next week's hearings. We've taken legislative action.
This legislative action cannot – and should not – be undone with the sweep of a hand or a backdoor meeting. Only legislative action can rescind those efforts.
Unless the Legislative Audit Commission takes new legislative action to change course, then I presume the Audit Commission will proceed with the plan laid out through its bipartisan, transparent process."