Questions still loom over auditor general

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

A state representative says the longer Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino goes without answering questions about questionable campaign spending from his time as a state lawmaker, the louder the questions become.

Mautino has been under the microscope since last winter for tens of thousands of campaign dollars spent at an auto shop and bank in his then-legislative district. Election board records show Mautino gave more than $200,000 over the span of 10 years to Happy’s Super Service Station in Spring Valley.

Mautino faces both a federal investigation into campaign spending from his time as a lawmaker and a looming public hearing into the issue through the state elections board. Through his attorneys, Mautino has said he pleads his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.

Republican state Rep. Grant Wehrli, R-Naperville, said Mautino needs to step aside.

“We need answers now and, if no answers, then step aside,” Wehrli said. “I hope for the sake of Illinois that Auditor General Mautino can explain this thoroughly to everyone. But until then, step aside.”

Wehrli introduced House Joint Resolution 9 that would remove Mautino as the state’s Auditor General.

Wehrli said it’s been months upon months that legislators have been asking for clarification.

“I think it would be a great day for the state of Illinois if the auditor general would step forward and just clear all this up and we can put this issue to rest. However, the longer he drags it out and stonewalls, the more I feel nefarious activities took place, criminal activities that he simply cannot answer to,” he said.

Last year, a group of 20 bipartisan lawmakers signed onto multiple letters requesting clarification from Mautino without any success.

Mautino’s attorneys are expected to meet with the election board complainant’s attorneys today for a conference, where they’ll decide when the next hearing date will be scheduled.

The Liberty Justice Center is a partner of Illinois News Network’s parent organization, Illinois Policy Institute.

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