CHICAGO (CBS) — Just hours before it was disclosed federal prosecutors are looking into Gov. Pat Quinn’s embattled anti-violence program, Republican rival Bruce Rauner’s campaign launched a toll-free hotline for state workers to blow the whistle on alleged corruption in the governor’s office.
“There’s mounting evidence that the Quinn administration has significant corruption, cronyism, patronage going on – just like his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich,” Rauner said.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Rauner did not offer evidence Quinn is personally corrupt, but said he’s heard from state workers who tell him they know of corruption, but are afraid to report it.
“As I’ve traveled the state on the campaign, I’ve heard anecdotal stories about the issues and the wrongdoings from state workers, and people who interact with the government,” Rauner said.
So he set up a toll-free number – funded by his campaign – for people to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing in the Quinn administration.
Rauner denied his hotline is simply a fishing expedition and a campaign stunt, claiming he wants to give state workers a safe way to blow the whistle.
“They can be anonymous, and they can bring up some of the issues that they are observing of wrongdoing inside the government,” he said.
He pointed to ongoing official investigations into hiring practices at the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the finances of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, an anti-violence program Quinn launched in 2010.
Coincidentally, just hours after the hotline was set up, the Illinois State Comptroller’s office confirmed federal prosecutors had sought information regarding the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Earlier this week, the state turned over documents on the program to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, in response to a subpoena.