News Local/State

Ex-Quinn Aide Testifies About NRI


Email exchanges from a former aide of Gov. Pat Quinn are factoring into testimony at a lawmaker panel investigating a 2010 state anti-violence program under scrutiny for mismanagement. 

Republicans allege Quinn used the program for political gain ahead of the 2010 election. GOP Rep. Ron Sandack pointed to an email from then-chief operating officer Jack Lavin to campaign staff about Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. 

Lavin told the Legislative Audit Commission Thursday the email was sent from his personal address on a weekend and it's not unusual for administration officials to brief campaigns on what's happening. He says he didn't go further than that in crafting campaign messaging on the issue. 

Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul called the line of questioning a "witch hunt.''

Meanwhile, Quinn's running mate, Paul Vallas, says the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative has "always'' been accurately represented by the governor.  Vallas told reporters Thursday that testimony from former Quinn aides before the Legislative Audit Commission investigating the NRI "pretty much supports that.'' 

The Legislative Audit Commission heard the testimony during its meeting in Chicago, Wednesday and Thursday.

Quinn is seeking re-election against Republican Bruce Rauner and Libertarian Chad Grimm