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Lisa to Rod: What's up With That?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 9, 2006 6:40PM

Mike Madigan's daughter and Attorney General Lisa Madigan is accusing Gov. Blagojevich of impeding a federal investigation into questionable hiring.
Late last week AFSCME Council 31 publicly alleged that the Governor was intimidating state employees by running a parallel investigation to the hiring probe being conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald. Already sniffing around about favors lists and sketchy connections to vendors leasing Tollway space, Fitzgerald's office has said that there is credible evidence of "endemic hiring fraud." Madigan's office dropped its own, similar investigation last summer at the request of Fitzgerald, who wanted the Feds to take the lead in the investigation.

Madigan's accusation raises the issue of why the Governor's office has hired two outside law firms, Schiff Hardin and Meckler Bulger & Tilson, to conduct a parallel investigation. Both firms have made substantial donations to G-Rod's campaigns in the past, and Bruce Meckler was appointed to the board that directs McPier. While the Governor’s office contends that having outside firms handle the investigation and the retraining of top hiring officials is worth the short-term cost to taxpayers (to the tune of nearly a million dollars!!), Madigan’s office wonders why existing state resources couldn’t be used instead.

Not missing an opportunity to tar the Gov with more corruption questions (and distance herself a little more from imprisoned former Governor George Ryan), Judy Baar Topinka has a whole batch of negative ads about hiring fraud and checks to children.