Ives wants answers at Mautino hearing
The Edgar County Watchdogs reported recently that Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino is being deposed in connection with a complaint filed by David Cook that led to an investigation by the State Board of Election (SBE) into Mautino’s campaign spending during his tenure as a state representative.
The watchdog group also reported that the SBE hearing officer has issued a protective order so that information from the deposition is kept from the public.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 20 in Chicago and is open to the public.
The DuPage Policy Journal reached out to state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) to get her take on the issue.
Q: What are your thoughts on the protective order being issued for his depositions?
I think that is just typical of these types of proceedings because we know that he’s under both State Board of Election investigation and he’s under federal investigation, and I imagine anything that was deposed from those depositions could also be used in the federal investigations. So I imagine it’s a very legal procedure that is commonly used when you are under multiple investigations. That’s fine. But when this hearing comes forward …if he pleads the Fifth to protect himself against self-incrimination, that’s very telling.
Q: What do you make of the investigations so far into Mautino’s campaign spending?
My thought from the beginning -- just looking at his campaign information -- is that he misused campaign funds for personal use. (And) it’s very apparent when you go through the data and the timelines and the kind of money that was spent. Any elected official would understand that there is no possible way that those are legitimate expenses for campaign purposes. They are just extraordinary. You don’t pay election workers from a bank account; you don’t pay back to a bank more than the loan and the interest is worth; you don’t gas up your vehicle in nice round numbers. It’s so obvious that there’s a problem here.
And then as the story went on, you have Mautino refusing to give legislators information about the accounts. You have him essentially not replying to the State Board of Elections in an open and transparent way. You have him hiring top communication staff and top legal staff to defend against these allegations, and he’s not clean.
So finally, thank God for David Cook, who filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections, which has now come to fruition in an investigation.
Q: Mautino has stayed relatively mum on the allegations since they surfaced over a year ago. Do you expect anything different for the upcoming hearing?
I’m looking forward to the April 20th hearing in Chicago concerning this issue. And I’m hoping we get a resolution and some answers. But I fully expect that Mr. Mautino will refuse to answer questions. And if that’s the case, he needs to be removed immediately from office. He should have been removed a year ago, but at this point if he refuses to answer questions after over a year of requesting answers, then he should be removed immediately, and we have a resolution in place to do so.
In my opinion, (he has said very little) because he is guilty. He is obviously hiding something, otherwise he would be forthcoming with facts and figures and data and information and people to back up his spending.
I plan on being at that hearing since it’s open to the public.