Alderman caught up in controversy over violence prevention program

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The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that Gov. Pat Quinn’s staff was concerned about political fallout stemming from anti-violence grants awarded to groups with links to Ald. Deborah Graham.

“Newly released emails show top aides to the governor worried about its potential political cost as far back as 2011,” writes Statehouse reporter Dave McKinney.

“That’s when former Quinn chief of staff Jack Lavin, the governor’s former chief operating officer Andrew Ross and the director of the Illinois Finance Authority, Chris Meister, worked to insulate the governor and help contain a brewing, NRI-related tempest involving Chicago Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) in her 2011 aldermanic race.”

The Sun-Times story came in the same week that state lawmakers resumed hearings on the controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which the governor launched just weeks before the 2010 gubernatorial election.

He later shut it down after questions were raised about how some of the $54.5 million was spent, and federal and local investigations are underway.

To read the full story, including which groups tied to Graham received the money, click here.

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