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1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Sep 30, 2013
BGA Does It Again

Chicago, IL

#1 Sep 26, 2013
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/23543459/st...

State lawmaker calls for investigation into Fox 32/BGA lottery findings

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News)-
Earlier this week, Fox 32 News reported exclusively that the Illinois Lottery has been paying for contracts that went to a company that used to be owned by the lottery's chief administrator.

Now, a south suburban lawmaker is calling for a state investigation into Fox 32 and the Better Government Association's findings.

Democratic State Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island says he was astonished by the findings detailing a series of payments to a Chicago consulting firm by the Illinois lottery totaling $168,000.

"This doesn't sound right. It doesn't read right. Nothing seems right about this and this is something we should look at a little closer," Rita said.

Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones had previously worked for and helped found the company, called Independent Lottery Research.

Emails obtained by Fox 32 and the BGA show that shortly after Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Jones to run the Illinois Lottery, Jones tried to give his old company a contract.

Jones told us he was just trying to help an Illinois business.

"I'd say 'why don't we keep the money in Illinois? Why wouldn't we hire an Illinois company to do research on the Illinois Lottery," Jones said.

That contract was killed by the governor's office because of a perceived conflict of interest but a few weeks later, Independent Lottery Research changed its name to Independent Gaming Research, and almost immediately it began getting work from Northstar, the company hired by Illinois to run the lottery.

Jones insists he had nothing to do with it.

"Ask Northstar. Ask the CEO of Northstar. I'm sure he would know," Jones said. "I had nothing to do with it."

But a spokesman for Northstar's parent company, GTECH, told us, "the primary reason GTECH hired ILR/IGR was because of director Jones' urging."

"We got more questions than answers now," Rita said.

Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.

"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.

Those contracts went to a business with close ties to Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones.

Now, a member of the Legislative Audit Commission is asking the state to investigate whether any laws were broken.
Excellent Questions

Chicago, IL

#2 Sep 26, 2013
Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.

"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.
JAWA Fiasco

Blue Island, IL

#3 Sep 26, 2013
Maybe State Rep Bob Rita should look into the corruption taking place a little bit closer to home, JAWA! It's Election time, and we need Honest States Reps in Springfield.
BOB

Alsip, IL

#4 Sep 27, 2013
Rita calling for an investigation for ethics violations is like John Gotti calling for an investigation into extortion.
BGA Reporter

Chicago, IL

#5 Sep 27, 2013
BGA Does It Again wrote:
http://www.myfoxchicago.com/st ory/23543459/state-lawmaker-ca lls-for-investigation-into-fox -32-lottery-findings
State lawmaker calls for investigation into Fox 32/BGA lottery findings
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News)-
Earlier this week, Fox 32 News reported exclusively that the Illinois Lottery has been paying for contracts that went to a company that used to be owned by the lottery's chief administrator.
Now, a south suburban lawmaker is calling for a state investigation into Fox 32 and the Better Government Association's findings.
Democratic State Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island says he was astonished by the findings detailing a series of payments to a Chicago consulting firm by the Illinois lottery totaling $168,000.
"This doesn't sound right. It doesn't read right. Nothing seems right about this and this is something we should look at a little closer," Rita said.
Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones had previously worked for and helped found the company, called Independent Lottery Research.
Emails obtained by Fox 32 and the BGA show that shortly after Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Jones to run the Illinois Lottery, Jones tried to give his old company a contract.
Jones told us he was just trying to help an Illinois business.
"I'd say 'why don't we keep the money in Illinois? Why wouldn't we hire an Illinois company to do research on the Illinois Lottery," Jones said.
That contract was killed by the governor's office because of a perceived conflict of interest but a few weeks later, Independent Lottery Research changed its name to Independent Gaming Research, and almost immediately it began getting work from Northstar, the company hired by Illinois to run the lottery.
Jones insists he had nothing to do with it.
"Ask Northstar. Ask the CEO of Northstar. I'm sure he would know," Jones said. "I had nothing to do with it."
But a spokesman for Northstar's parent company, GTECH, told us, "the primary reason GTECH hired ILR/IGR was because of director Jones' urging."
"We got more questions than answers now," Rita said.
Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.
"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.
Those contracts went to a business with close ties to Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones.
Now, a member of the Legislative Audit Commission is asking the state to investigate whether any laws were broken.
Dane Placko

Dane Placko is a general assignment reporter and enjoys covering a variety of stories, from spot news to sports to features.

Dane was born in Chicago in the Rogers Park neighborhood. He moved with his family first to Arlington Heights and then Palatine, where he attended both Fremd and Palatine High Schools. Dane majored in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana, then began his career in broadcasting at WHO Radio and T.V. in Des Moines.

After a brief stop in Milwaukee, Dane returned home to Chicago and FOX News in 1992, where he has received Emmy awards for spot news reporting and writing.

An avid gardener, Dane lives on the city's Northeast side, and is best known among his colleagues as a long-suffering Cubs fan (as if there were any other kind!).

Visit the Fox Chicago Sunday Page to see his past political stories.

dane.placlo@foxtv.com
Ties

Chicago, IL

#7 Sep 28, 2013
Excellent Questions wrote:
Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.
"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.
Political ties and families often got preferred treatment and operate as if the seeing unemployed and under employed public are blind and stupid.

Clean the House of corruption from top to bottom; from ~ Springfield - to - Blue Island ~(and every other community) then head straight to Washington until the job really gets done.

Our Politicians on Both Sides do not care about any of the debt they created, the poor, food stamps, unemployed, under employed or anything else; they are just to busy filling their own pockets and worrying about the next election!
Pushed and Shoved

Chicago, IL

#8 Sep 28, 2013
Excellent Questions wrote:
Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.
"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.
While you are looking sir perhaps you could review these documents, as well.

http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...

http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...
Under Advisement

Chicago, IL

#9 Sep 28, 2013
Pushed and Shoved wrote:
<quoted text>
While you are looking sir perhaps you could review these documents, as well.
http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...
http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...
There appears to be a problem.
Noticed and Noted

Chicago, IL

#10 Sep 28, 2013
Under Advisement wrote:
<quoted text>
There appears to be a problem.
These concerns will be addressed immediately.
Thank You

Chicago, IL

#11 Sep 28, 2013
Noticed and Noted wrote:
<quoted text>
These concerns will be addressed immediately.
We look forward to an appropriate response.
Improper

Chicago, IL

#12 Sep 28, 2013
Pushed and Shoved wrote:
<quoted text>
While you are looking sir perhaps you could review these documents, as well.
http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...
http://www.blueisland.org/wp-content/uploads/...
There are several instruments that were obviously not properly negotiated and handled.
Its a crime

Blue Island, IL

#13 Sep 28, 2013
It's not worth it guys.
Troubling BI Violations

Chicago, IL

#14 Sep 29, 2013
These are very troubling violations Blue Island has to deal with; to say the least.
Special Deals

Chicago, IL

#15 Sep 29, 2013
Troubling BI Violations wrote:
These are very troubling violations Blue Island has to deal with; to say the least.
When our state and local politicians show you; lack of integrity or dishonesty the first time, know that this will be followed many many other times.
We believe

Midlothian, IL

#16 Sep 29, 2013
Special Deals wrote:
<quoted text>
When our state and local politicians show you; lack of integrity or dishonesty the first time, know that this will be followed many many other times.
Accountability is what we want. Allowing patronage and self-interest within our City Gov't will not be accepted by the citizens. We want experience and honesty running our town. Currently we are distanced from both.
Its a matter of time

Blue Island, IL

#17 Sep 29, 2013
We believe wrote:
<quoted text>
Accountability is what we want. Allowing patronage and self-interest within our City Gov't will not be accepted by the citizens. We want experience and honesty running our town. Currently we are distanced from both.
I wish you real independents would have been elected. If you try to hold the Progressive Party accountable, they might get real nasty. You see for them, they think it is a entitlement. They think it is a birthright. Term limits to them, is an oxymoron.
High Hopes

Chicago, IL

#18 Sep 30, 2013
Excellent Questions wrote:
Rita says he will be asking to legislative audit commission to investigate how Jones' former company wound up getting the lottery business, and whether any ethics rules were broken.
"That's what I'm looking at. Why would someone push so hard to have a certain company do business," Rita said.
Democratic State Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island says he was astonished by the findings detailing a series of payments to a Chicago consulting firm by the Illinois lottery totaling $168,000.

There are many similar findings going on in your very own backyard. We need you to stay calm and act expeditiously to solve these problems.

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