Kirk, Quigley: FBI Should Investigate Waste In County Anti-Terrorism Program

UPDATED 01/09/12 5:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) have teamed up to demand a federal investigation into the way Cook County spent U.S. Homeland Security dollars under former board president Todd Stroger.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Kirk told reporters at least $20 million out of $45 million U.S. Homeland Security dollars had been wasted in the Project Shield program, if not more. The federal program — the subject of previous 2 Investigators reports — was supposed to better equip suburbs in Cook County to handle acts of terrorism.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

But 32 of the 128 Cook County suburbs never received any equipment at all, and several others gave back their equipment because it didn’t work.

Kirk says 18 percent of all the equipment purchased under the federal grants and then decommissioned, is missing. Some may have been stolen or fenced, he said.

“All of this indicates that we may have more than just a problem of lackadaisical management,” Kirk said. “This program may have been looted by Cook County officials, and the prime and secondary contractors involved.”

When Quigley was a commissioner on the Cook County Board, he joined then-commissioners Forrest Claypool, now head of the Chicago Transit Authority, and Anthony Peraica, now a private attorney, in calling for an investigation into the program.

“What was troubling to me wasn’t just the waste that was taking place. It was the denial,” he said. “We also heard from some police that were trying to defend Cook County (officials) because they wanted continued program money in a cooperative effort with Cook County. But we were hearing from police and staff members from various municipalities that it just did not work.”

Kirk and Quigley have sent a letter to the FBI requesting a criminal inquiry.

The 2 Investigators began making inquiries into Project Shield four years ago. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security audit unveiled this week confirms what many police departments had already told CBS 2.

In 2008, East Hazel Crest Police Chief Ray Roberston was one of the first to publicly complain about failures in the squad car video-surveillance system. The system was supposed to connect 128 municipalities to one central command center.

“I can’t get it to work on a day-to-day basis,” Robertson told CBS 2’s Dave Savini.

The 2 Investigators found Project Shield failed repeatedly in Streamwood, Schiller park, Glenview, Niles, Evergreen Park, Robbins, Thornton and Phoenix.

Several police departments ripped the gear out of their squads.

The federal audit alleges there are missing records, missing equipment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in contract change orders that lacked documentation to back them up.

In one of the biggest snafus, the county never tested the camera equipment during hot and cold climates. Extreme temperatures caused repeated failures.

The project began under the late Cook County Board President John H. Stroger Jr., but most of the work was done under the administration of his son and successor in office, Todd Stroger.

Current County Board President Toni Preckwinkle ultimately did away with the program.

More from 2 Investigators
  • tom Sharp

    How many Daley, Madigan, Burke, Emanual family members and friends made money on this one?

  • g-man

    The common connection is all the democratic politicians who promise to clean up government who always find ways to steal more money for their friends and family !!!! DALEY—STROGER—-JACKSON—-BLOJOBAVICH—-QUINN—BURKE—ETC…ETC…ETC…..

  • Mitt Romney’s second cousin twice removed or, his brother I’m still not sure. I’ll have to ask my/our one of our mothers whom I believe practices Catholicism when we’re not looking?

    Whether stolen or not, this is why we need to get our money back from these Black people. If you elect my cousin/brother he’ll stop them from stealing my… I mean our money. Although I found out a funny thing this last week, while in Iowa with my cousin/brother, I found out that Black people make-up only 8% of the people who receive welfare in the state of Iowa. Something is wrong with that picture. Someone must be lying because that can’t be true. Then, while me and my cousin/brother were in South Carolina I heard that Black people make-up 28% of the people who receive help from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). I’m sure that can’t be right! Black people shouldn’t get a dime of our money because, it’s our money, and our good friend “Dubya” told us that. I also agree with Newt, Black people deserve a pay check so we can keep our money for us.

  • THEE Yard Ape

    Come on, it’s only 20 million wasted!!!! Crook county’s incompetent/on the take @ ss holes just doing what they do best !!!!

  • angry homeowner

    And think of how much WE pay in PROPERTY TAXES!!!!

  • Centurion

    $20MILLION wasted in Cook County that no one can account for. DUH!

  • Jim Hamilton
  • Jim Hamilton

    Remember the Sears tax breaks that Quinn pushed so hard for while he raised our taxes? Is it no wonder Quinn can’t balance a budget he lets these people do what they want with 20m and with no accountability. He doesn’t have any problem solving skills either, and he threatens veto on laws that overwhelmingly pass the house. I say we recall this poor excuse for a Governor while we still have a state.

  • G-girl

    G-man is right. They are all crooks. Ane the ones complaining now are the crooks who were left out!!

    • g-man

      THANK YOU !!!!!

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