I am shocked! SHOCKED!!
“The NRI program was hastily implemented, which limited the time [the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority] had to adequately plan for and implement the program,” Illinois Auditor General William Holland wrote in the report. “No documentation existed showing how IVPA selected the NRI communities, and not all the most violent Chicago communities were included in the program.”
Using the word “failed” more than 100 times, Holland questioned the patronage inherent in the program: Instead of choosing grantees through an objective analysis, Chicago aldermen were allowed to recommend and select lead agencies to receive NRI cash. According to the report, this system resulted in some strange funding choices, with seven of the city’s 20 most violent communities excluded from receiving NRI grant funds.
The audit, commissioned in 2012 by state lawmakers from both parties, echoed years of media investigations and political criticism raising questions about NRI’s financial mismanagement and lack of oversight of grantees. A Chicago Sun-Times report found that one nonprofit was given $15,770 in anti-violence funds to run a reentry program for young former inmates — but the program never existed. Another investigation, by theChicago Tribune, found that an economic development group hired to help finance to small businesses never made a single loan, but was nevertheless allowed to keep more than $150,000 when its contract was slashed.