Springfield, Il (ECWd) -
"This one's big, this one's big", is what I told Channel 2 News back in January, as in Frank Mautino's campaign spending and reporting matters. It was clear the campaign expenditure reporting we exposed in this article violated campaign reporting laws but more importantly, we had substantial reason to believe the spending of those funds would rise to the level of criminality and we said as much in this article.
Our suspicions appear to be confirmed considering the WebTimes has now reported here that Frank Mautino, through his attorneys, has invoked his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination in the current State Board of Elections case.
He should resign immediately as the people of this state will never trust him as our Auditor General knowing he chose to stay silent to avoid self-incrimination on civil matters that could potentially lead to criminal charges. It was revealed several weeks ago that he is cooperating with the US Attorney's criminal investigation. If he does not plead the 5th with the US Attorney that may imply he is providing information that may point to other political figures wrongdoing.
According to the WebTimes reporting, the State Board of Elections general counsel, Ken Menzel, "is recommending the board grant Mautino's wish. The board typically follows his advice."
"He added there is no urgency to the board's proceedings given the campaign committee dissolved in December, just before Mautino became the state's auditor general."
May I suggest Governor Rauner take any and all possible steps to replace any State Board of Elections Board members that votes to postpone the case and also push for a replacement legal counsel for that board. The reason is simple. If the US Attorney wanted those hearings delayed they would have informed them of such. In addition, for the legal counsel to claim there is no urgency is a slap in the face to every citizen in this state.
This state is facing a crisis like never imagined. The people's trust in their elected and appointed officials is at an all-time low and for no other reason than shoring up the public's trust, this matter should be dealt with the utmost urgency, not set aside because there is a criminal investigation.
Short of the US Attorney sending a request to delay, the State Board of Elections should hold Frank Mautino's feet to the fire, on schedule, just like any other person in this state!
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