Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Monday, October 14, 2019

EDGAR COUNTY WATCHDOGS: 15 years of Election finance violations; Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino must resign

By Kirk Allen | Sep 15, 2019

On January 21, 2016, we broke the story regarding Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino’s legislative campaign spending. Shortly after we broke the story, David Cook filed a formal State Board of Elections complaint against Frank Mautino’s campaign which was based off our findings.

As we continued to investigate matters it was evident Frank Mautino had created numerous issues of concern for himself.  We encourage everyone to review the numerous articles we wrote regarding Mautino to gain an appreciation for how bad it really is (https://edgarcountywatchdogs.com).

In October of 2017 we wrote, Will the people ever see justice in Illinois.  Almost two years later, and three years and 7 months from our first article on Mautino, we finally have vindication from the Appellate court and their findings send a clear message.

“The evidence showed (1) the cash was obtained prior to travel by Mautino, (2) the cash was obtained in whole dollar amounts, (3) Mautino would sometimes not return receipts after traveling, (4) the Committee’s treasurer did not recall an instance where Mautino deposited cash with the bank when he returned from travel with receipts for expenses totaling an amount less than the amount of cash previously obtained from the bank, (5) Mautino did not seek additional cash for unexpected traveling expenses, and (6) Mautino did not disclose any contributions relating to his personal payment of unexpected traveling expenses. Without needing to consider any possible adverse inference from Mautino’s refusal to testify, we find the manner in which the Committee paid for travel expenses over a 15-year period inevitably led to at least some portion of the cash being used for personal purposes.”

Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino should resign immediately as the public can not trust our State Auditor. When our own Appellate court unanimously finds at least some portion of the Mautino campaign cash was used for personal purposes over a 15 year period and we add the fact Mautino refused to testify and invoked his 5th amendment right, his resignation must be tendered.

For those that don’t think that is enough, let’s not forget the other problems with Mautino we have exposed over the recent years.

  • False and/or incomplete Statement of Economic Interest filing.
  • Admits to violating Freedom of Information in Answer to the complaint. 
  • Mautino involvement in patronage hiring practices
  • A laundry list of conflicting positions
  • Banking services like no other
While the public tends to hear little to nothing about federal investigations, we know Mautino was under a federal criminal investigation shortly after we broke our story in 2016. We can only wonder if the recent federal indictments against key figures in Illinois were a result of information obtained from the Mautino investigation.

Along with Mautino’s resignation, we believe three of the State Board of Elections board members involved in the recent case should also tender their resignation.

Four times in the 30 page ruling from the court it was stated, “The Board’s decision to the contrary is clearly erroneous“.

Clearly erroneous!

Violations of law that we clearly were able to identify, understand, and report on were basically ignored by certain board members.

These board members inability or unwillingness to apply the very law they are supposed to be overseeing requires they step down.  This was not a simple one-off mistake or oversight.  No, this was a clear dereliction of their fiduciary duty to uphold our laws against those who violated them for reasons we may never understand. They failed the public and did so at such a gross level the public trust can not be regained.  Three of the four members involved are shown as current sitting board members on the SBE web site and they should tender their resignation immediately.

  • William M. McGuffage, 
  • Casandra B. Watson
  •  Charles W. Scholz
Anyone reading the court’s 30-page ruling, we are confident, will agree it is time Frank Mautino, at a minimum, to resign as Illinois Auditor General. Those who review the entire history of the State Board of Elections’ actions in this matter will also realize why we believe three remaining board members should resign as well.

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Organizations in this Story

Committee for Frank J Mautino