New twist in Rauner administration lease deals has Manar asking: Who’s in charge?

dwight 050417SPRINGFIELD – During testimony before a Senate budget committee this week, the acting director of the Illinois Department of Corrections said he didn’t know why the former state women’s prison in Dwight had become unfit to serve as a warehouse for state paperwork. He told members of the committee that he would look into it and get back to them.

The Rauner administration recently moved the paperwork out of Dwight to a former furniture store in Springfield. The deal cost taxpayers $2.4 million.

Today, through news reports, the prison agency explained that the Illinois Department of Central Management Services is now responsible for the Dwight property.

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the latest developments:

“Once again, our committee is left with more questions than when we started. The governor is more than halfway through his term, and it’s as if no one knows who’s running what within the Rauner administration.

“We’ve asked very simple, straightforward questions now to three different agency directors and the governor’s chief of staff. We have yet to receive a simple, straightforward answer back about why millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to move and house old state paperwork in a former furniture store when Illinois has several empty buildings available at no cost.

“These records were kept at the now vacant state women’s prison in Dwight. If there were maintenance concerns at that site, we would like to know the cost of remedying them because it’s hard to believe it would cost more than the $2.4 million that taxpayers will pay to lease the former furniture store.

“Keep in mind, we are in a budget crisis and we are talking about the Rauner administration spending millions to find new homes for old paperwork. We have simple questions we would like answered: Who in the administration is directing this and why is it such a priority?

“Bruce Rauner promised management expertise from a proven businessman. Given the mismanagement and confusion we’re witnessing, clearly the taxpayers are not getting what was promised.”

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