An audit released Tuesday states that a program meant to address violence in Chicago and Cook County was "hastily implemented" and, as a result, did not touch some of the highest-crime communities in the area.
Illinois Auditor General William Holland's new report on the $55 million taxpayer-funded program implemented by the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority states that spending was not tracked and the community organizations that received funding did not always fulfill their obligations.
The program, which was introduced during Gov. Pat Quinn's 2010 election campaign, also allowed city aldermen to make recommendations on what community organizations should receive grant money for violence prevention efforts. Holland's report noted that aldermanic influence was not properly checked by the state violence prevention authority, which "failed to conduct its due diligence to document that the decisions related to the selection of lead agencies were free of any conflict of interest, the appearance of conflict of interest or that the agencies selected were the best entities to provide the needed services."
The governor's office found out about the problems in 2012, and has since worked to have the authority superseded by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. As a result, the governor's office says many of the issues with the program have been addressed.