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updated: 4/29/2014 11:29 PM

Cook County prosecutors subpoena anti-violence program records

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Associated Press

The Cook County sate's attorney's office subpoenaed records tied to Gov. Pat Quinn's troubled Neighborhood Initiative Program and then withdrew the request when the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity promised to provide the information, according to a published report Tuesday.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the subpoena asked for program files, notes, memos and correspondence, and the identities of related field auditors and compliance monitors. Officials say the information was given to the state's attorney Tuesday.

"The director of DCEO Adam Pollet has no tolerance for any misconduct or misuse of funds by our grantees," Dave Roeder, spokesman for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said. "We are actively working with the state's attorney's office to provide all the records and information it requests."

Quinn created the anti-violence program in 2010 to stem violence in two dozen Chicago neighborhoods. A state audit found the $55 million program had "pervasive" mismanagement. The Commerce and Economic Opportunity Department handled about $10 million of the initiative's projects.

The initiative was run by the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority, which relied in part on recommendations from Chicago aldermen when choosing community agencies to run programs. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took over the Violence Prevention Authority last year.

It's not clear why Cook County prosecutors are targeting the Commerce and Economic Opportunity Department about the grants it distributed.

The Neighborhood Initiative Program aims to reduce Chicago neighborhood violence by helping young people get jobs, offering parenting skills and assisting people getting out of prison.

However, Auditor General William Holland's report last month found "pervasive deficiencies" in implementing the initiative, along with sloppy and missing paperwork. The report questioned about 40 percent of the expenditures by service providers. The findings led some top Republicans to call for a federal investigation.

But Quinn has said his administration investigated and fixed the problems.

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