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Kirk Seeks Investigation of Federal Disaster Funds

WGIL Newsroom . State News 215

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is seeking an investigation into millions in federal funds that Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration used for an anti-violence program.

Kirk asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week to investigate how Hurricane Ike recovery funds were used.

The money went to financial institutions to disburse loans to small businesses in struggling Chicago neighborhoods as part of the now-defunct Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

A state audit found “pervasive” problems with the program, which Quinn started before his 2010 election.

The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that $3.7 million in disaster funds went to three institutions. One had previously misspent state grants. It never loaned any money, but kept $150,000.

Quinn says he addressed problems with the initiative, including abolishing the agency that ran it.

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