In response to the failure of Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to answer questions amidst the ongoing federal and state investigations into his campaign spending irregularities, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) joined some of his House Republican colleagues on Wednesday to announce the filing of House Joint Resolution 158 aimed at removing Mautino from office. The measure currently has more than 20 House sponsors.
At issue is more than $200,000 Mautino spent over 10 years on gas and vehicle repairs at a Spring Valley service station owned by a city alderman, as well as $259,000 in payments made to a local bank since 1999.
“The Auditor General is the chief agent charged with ensuring that agencies and elected officials operate within the confines of the law,” said Morrison. “He, above all else, should be a pillar of ethical behavior, yet questions involving his own campaign spending have cast a very dark cloud over his integrity. The people of Illinois deserve the highest standard of behavior from this important official, and unfortunately Attorney General Mautino’s tenure has been plagued by scandal.”
In a letter sent last month, over 20 other House and Senate Republican lawmakers urged Mautino to take an unpaid leave of absence until federal and state investigations into irregular campaign spending while he was a state representative conclude, noting that the Auditor General has yet to provide documentation clarifying his campaign expenditures and reporting practices through his now inactive political committee. Mautino has not responded to the letter or to repeated calls to answer official legislative inquiries.
“I had hoped that Frank Mautino would have done the right thing and stepped aside at the urging of more than 20 members of the House and Senate last month, but if he is unwilling to step down while he defends himself against potential criminal charges, the General Assembly should intervene and force his resignation,” said Morrison.
Morrison was one of 10 lawmakers who voted last year against appointing Mautino to the position of Auditor General. He said he felt Mautino was too closely tied to House Speaker Mike Madigan, and that there were better-qualified candidates outside of Illinois government that would be better-suited for the job.