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Manar, Cullerton: Warehouse lease audit paints troubling picture

manar tc 051618SPRINGFIELD – Audit results released today regarding the Rauner administration’s pricey lease of a Springfield warehouse for paper storage confirms what some lawmakers have known all along: that the deal doesn’t pass the smell test.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, said he is troubled by the audit report.

“At various points in the process, people chose to ignore rules, guidelines and best practices that are there to eliminate questions about backroom deals and political favors,” Manar said. “This was an unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and it seems to me the problems uncovered by this audit merit further scrutiny.”

A summary of the audit can be found here. The full audit can be found here.

Background on the situation can be found here and here.

“I still have a lot of questions, and I think it is clear more conversations should occur, not the least of which are about the ethical expectations and the spending priorities of the Rauner administration,” Manar said.

“Ultimately, I think the average Illinois taxpayer doesn’t believe we should be spending money on politically connected leases for storing paper. We have more important needs in Illinois. I’ve never understood why any of this happened to begin with.”

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), who pursued the initial investigations in the Senate along with Manar, released the following statement:

“The release of today's audit report on the Gov. Bruce Rauner's corrupt insider deal is eye opening. I was honored to work with Senator Manar and Representative McSweeney to pass HJR 63. Many questions are still left out there including whether Governor Rauner will ever admit his failure in leadership and the obvious corruption revealed within this report. I trust the Attorney General is reviewing the details of this audit.”

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