The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

State Auditor General Report Suggest Incompetence, Maybe Criminal Activity

By vouchey in News on Apr 27, 2005 2:50AM

Springfielders are buzzing about a report released this afternoon by State Auditor General William Holland. The report accuses a powerful state agency of illegally shifting funds between accounts, failure to track contract expenses, and inability to document $137 million of claimed procurement savings. The report stopped short of suggesting criminal activity, but the report was referred to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who's office is reviewing it "very closely."

The agency accused of wrongdoing, the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) oversees all state property, procurement, employee benefits -- the stuff that makes government work. At the very least, the Auditor's report demonstrates that CMS is full of incompetence. At worst it is the tip of a much bigger iceburg. All this is surprising since a major part of Governor Rod Blagojevich's public image has been as a cost-cutting, smart-government kind of governor.

Capitol Fax and ArchPundit, two well-read, non-partisan Illinois politics blogs, have been digging deep into the report, and their tone has been nothing short of incredulous, perhaps an indication of how serious the problem may really be.

Of course, with reports like this, the interesting part is the repercussions. Now that the Auditor has finished his work, the ball's in AG Lisa Madigan's hands. It's no secret that the Madigans, both AG Lisa and her dad House Speaker Mike Madigan, aren't too crazy about our governor. A popular "What happens in 2006?" game in Springfield has Lisa running against Gov. Blago, with Mayor Daley turning his back to the governor, effectively throwing Chicago votes to Madigan, who's dad has much more of an organization than the governor could ever put together on his own. If in coming days AG Lisa Madigan moves agressively on this CMS report, you can almost be sure she'll be running for governor in the 2006 Democratic primary.