Quinshaunta R. Golden, the former chief of staff to one of President
Barack Obama’s friends, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, has been accused of
stealing $433,000 from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Wednesday, federal authorities indicted Golden on bribery, theft,
witness tampering/obstruction of justice and fraud charges for allegedly
getting kickbacks from a grant-writing scam that lasted from 2007 to
Whitaker, who served as director of public health from 2003 to 2007, has not been accused of being involved, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
According to the indictment,
Golden’s position as chief of staff enabled her to issue millions of
dollars in grant money to nonprofits run by Leon Dingle Jr. and an
unidentified security firm. Dingle was indicted last year for misusing those state grant funds and buying personal items.
A paid consultant to those
grant recipients, known only as “INDIVIDUAL A” in the indictment,
received roughly $1 million in grants from IDPH and, according to the
indictment, compensated Golden in kickback payments of half of whatever
he or she received.
“INDIVIDUAL A made a total of
approximately $433,000 in kickback payments in DPH grant and contract
funds to Defendant GOLDEN,” the indictment reads.
a niece of U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D, IL-7), is one of 13 individuals
federal authorities have charged for embezzling funds from state health
grants and contracts. Former State Rep. Connie Howard (D-Chicago) resigned last year and pleaded guilty last month for misappropriating some $28,000 in IDPH grant funds.