Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has been under pressure for wasting over $50 million in taxes on an anti-violence program that employed gang members, and now Quinn faces more criticism because one of his hires was charged with murder.
Quinn has been criticized for hiring gang members at $8.50 an hour to hand out anti-violence pamphlets in African American sections of the Windy City. In particular he hired gang members Jermalle Brown and Douglas Bufford to work for his $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. During a robbery, Brown later murdered Bufford – likely by accident – and now the murder is making news again after a report by the state auditor criticized Quinn for the wasteful anti-violence program.
The two gang members and a third man broke into a Grand Crossing home in July of 2012 to commit a robbery. Chicago Police believe that the crime was gang-related.
The robbery ended in disaster when Bufford was hit in the back of the head by a shotgun blast. Brown was arrested for the incident.
Now the murder is making news again after a new report criticized Gov. Quinn for having paid tax dollars to these two thugs who were paid to advertise his anti-violence message.
Quinn was slammed by Auditor General William Holland for the wasteful program. He called the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative “hastily implemented.”
“Our audit of the NRI program found pervasive deficiencies in [the program’s] planning, implementation and management,” he said in his recent report.
The auditor said that Quinn’s office didn’t “adequately monitor” how the state funds were being spent, and with the tale of Brown and Bufford resurfacing, it seems that Holland’s claim has been vindicated.
Quinn has been criticized for “hastily” launching the program only 30 days prior to his 2010 election, with critics saying it smells of a payoff to voting constituencies.
Several state legislators have called for a criminal probe into the Governor’s anti-violence program.