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updated: 5/6/2014 1:06 PM

Quinn: Unaware convicted man had grant oversight

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  • Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown

      Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown
    Associated Press


Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn says he didn't know a Cook County politician's husband -- hired to oversee millions of dollars for an anti-violence program -- was convicted of writing bad checks.

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The Democratic governor said Tuesday he found reports about Benton Cook III in the Chicago Sun-Times "troublesome."

The newspaper reported Cook pleaded guilty in 1999 to writing more than $3,700 in bad checks. He's the husband of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.

Cook oversaw Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative for a not-for-profit called the Chicago Area Project.

A February state audit found "pervasive" mismanagement in the program.

Quinn says his office began an internal review of grants to the Chicago Area Project last weekend.

A legislative commission also voted Tuesday to grant itself subpoena powers to investigate the program.

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