Saturday, February 23, 2013

DCEO is Illinois' piggy bank - chicagotribune.com

Wish Pat Brady would use his pulpit to talk more about this kind of story the Trib editorializes on here rather than Same Sex Marriage.

Illinois may be broke, but it sure finds money when it wants to.

Just ask United Neighborhood Organization, a charter schools operator that has pulled down $98 million in state grants (as discussed in the companion editorial). The windfall for UNO has been flowing through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, a state agency with a sketchy track record of monitoring where taxpayer money goes.

For whatever reason — lack of resources, lack of leadership, lack of accounting controls — the agency is gaining a reputation for writing blank checks and getting burned. You want to take the money and run? DCEO is your chance.

UNO spent its $98 million on bricks-and-mortar projects at the charter schools it operates. A closer look at the construction projects by the Chicago Sun-Times found many of the contracts went to friends and family of UNO executives.

Read the rest here: DCEO is Illinois' piggy bank - chicagotribune.com

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