State Representative Grant Wehrli today said House Speaker Mike Madigan’s recent defense in the media of Auditor General Frank Mautino contained glaring inaccuracies about both the nature of the investigations into Mautino’s finances and his response.
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Speaker Madigan repeatedly referred to the ongoing state and criminal investigations into former State Representative Mautino’s campaign finances as mere “inquiries” in an attempt to lessen their seriousness in the eyes of the public.
“First of all, the U.S. Attorney’s Office doesn’t conduct ‘inquiries’. They conduct investigations as the Speaker, himself an attorney, knows full-well. He also knows that this particular investigation into Frank Mautino’s finances may yield serious criminal charges. Speaker Madigan is intentionally attempting to be misleading. The reporter, on the other hand, correctly states that the U.S. Attorney and the State Board of Elections are conducting investigations involving significant sums of money from then-Representative Mautino’s campaign fund,” Representative Wehrli said.
In the interview posted by National Public Radio on August 15, Speaker Madigan also stated that Auditor General Mautino has and will continue to respond to the issues raised in the investigations.
“This statement by the Speaker isn’t misleading…its flat-out untrue,” Representative Wehrli continued. “In February, I and other state lawmakers began writing to the Auditor General formally requesting answers to the troubling questions about his campaign spending and reporting. We sent four letters between February and June asking for answers. We’re still waiting. Last month, the deadline set by the State Board of Elections for Mr. Mautino to submit information to them came and went with no information forthcoming. To date, he’s stonewalled every request to provide information, and Speaker Madigan knows that as well.”
“As Auditor General, Frank Mautino’s job is to be the taxpayers’ top financial watchdog, but he himself is facing two investigations into his own financial practices that seriously compromise his ability to do his job. Speaker Madigan can try to put as much positive ‘spin’ on that as he wants, but he can’t change the facts,” Representative Wehrli said.