A group of Illinois lawmakers today urged Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to voluntarily take an unpaid leave of absence while numerous investigations persist into irregular campaign expenditures and reporting procedures dating back to his time in the Illinois House of Representatives. The lawmakers stressed that Mautino cannot effectively do his job while under a lingering cloud of suspicion.
“Over the last four months we have formally asked Auditor General Mautino four times to provide answers to the questions raised in the investigations, and still no answers are forthcoming. Recently it has come to light that federal authorities are looking into his campaign spending and reporting practices as well. There is no way that he can effectively do his job as Auditor General while defending himself against potential criminal charges and a State Election Board investigation,” said State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville).
A group of twelve legislators from the House sent an initial request for answers to Auditor General Mautino on February 1st asking for a written reply within 10 days. Mautino replied on February 9th that he needed more time to properly address the request. To accommodate the Auditor General, the lawmakers on February 11th extended their request deadline to February 25th. Mautino replied that he had retained a legal firm to assist him and would be working ‘…during the next few weeks in order to respond to your letter.’ In May lawmakers sent another request to which the Auditor General responded that the issue would be resolved by the State Board of Elections. Since that time, however, it has been revealed that the matter has grown into a federal investigation.
Today, a growing group of 21 lawmakers from both the House and Senate demanded in writing that Auditor General Mautino take an unpaid leave of absence until the federal and state investigations into his past financial conduct are concluded. (letter is below)
“The Auditor General is charged with being the taxpayers’ watchdog against fraud and waste, and Frank Mautino can’t possibly fulfill those duties while he’s under numerous investigations,” Wehrli said. “Illinois taxpayers have seen enough scandal. They need government they can trust. For the integrity of the office of Auditor General, we are demanding Frank Mautino’s immediate assurance that he will step aside until the investigations are concluded.”