Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IG sham, revisited

We've written before about the absolute sham known as the Illinois Executive Inspector General's office. Today, we see further evidence of its uselessness.

The Chicago Sun-Times' Chris Fusco broke the story about the resignation of a top aide to Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. Veterans' liaison Eric Schuller resigned after Fusco dug up embarrassing details about his past, including a short term in DuPage County jail for passing a bad check, financial problems, falsifying his military record and soliciting a loan from a military family while employed by Quinn.

Quinn found out about the loan solicitation in 2005 and turned the matter over to the IG's office in August of that year. According to Fusco's story, Quinn didn't get a letter back from the IG until April. For those keeping score at home, that's a 20-month investigation that probably could have been done in a week or so.

Also, we can infer from Fusco's story that the IG did not find the information about Schuller's past that Fusco did, because Quinn said he was unaware of the bad check and his false representations about his military record. Therefore, the only logical conclusion to draw was that the information was not in the IG letter a month ago, which Quinn read. We have to guess about contents of the IG letter because Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich created by statute an IG's office that is forbidden by law to reveal the contents of any of its actions.

So, it looks like the IG did a 20-month investigation and didn't find what Fusco found in a matter of days. This is par for the course for James Wright, the IG Blagojevich plucked from the Illinois Tollway after Blago's first IG resigned when the administration declined to take one of her recommendations. Wright was IG at the tollway at a time when the agency was awash in state and federal corruption investigations.

More business as usual in Illinois.

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