June 30, 2014

Pat Quinn Gives $146k In Anti-Violence Cash To Unlicensed Fraud

Gov. Pat Quinn’s anti-violence initiative has been a scandal-plagued disaster. Last week, it was revealed Quinn gave more than $15,000 to a re-entry program for teens and young adults to help them adjust to society life. That program never existed.

Today, the Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Quinn gave $146,000 to Benton Cook III for “media production.” Cook is the husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, also a Democrat. Prior to Quinn’s investment, Brown was Cook’s biggest client, giving him $90,000 over four years. Outside of Brown, however, Cook’s “Gideon Video Productions” didn’t have any other clients.

The Sun Times goes on:

Asked about the work Gideon Video Productions did for Brown’s campaign and whether it had a business license or paid taxes, Cook’s lawyer, Edward M. Genson, had no comment.

Jalyne Strong-Straw, a spokeswoman for Brown, also declined to comment.

Cook became a lightning rod for criticism of Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative following Chicago Sun-Times reports that he was hired to help supervise $2.1 million in anti-violence grants despite having a felony conviction for writing bad checks. Cook didn’t work directly for the state, but for a not-for-profit group that paid him $146,401 in salary and benefits over 22 months out of the state anti-violence funds.

Quinn, a Democrat, has said he had no idea until recently that Cook — whose wife also is a Democrat — had been hired for that job.

So, to summarize: Quinn gave $146k to a production company whose only client is the owner’s wife, and he’s now pleading ignorance. Leadership!