State

Audit: Anti-violence program rife with problems

SPRINGFIELD — A Chicago violence-prevention program ordered by Gov. Pat Quinn was so poorly put together that auditors questioned 40 percent of the expenditures turned in by contractors.

The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative announced by Quinn in August 2010 spent $55 million in the first two years that were examined by Auditor General William Holland. His report was released Tuesday.

The effort was run by the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority. But the agency relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen when choosing community agencies to run the programs. Those agencies charged $4.4 million, but poor record-keeping led auditors to question $1.8 million of that spending.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took over the Violence Prevention Authority last year. A spokeswoman says the program has been revamped with much tighter grant rules.

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