Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Illinois: A Grant. A Pardon. An Investigation.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) granted a pardon to an officer of a church school in the midst of approving a $1 million state grant that would help programs affiliated with the church. On top of that, the money eventually went to a private school which bought a Loop office condo. Rep. Kack Franks (D-Woostock) a member of the state legislature has scheduled hearings to investigate the grant and the Governor's office says it is now looking into whether or not the school associated with Pilgrim Baptist Church is "viable." Rep. Franks says the Governor basically gave "a non-existent school a million dollars to buy a floor on a condo building with no students, no faculty, no clear date of opening, and that apparently didn't have a tax-exempt status until they were going to get a million dollars in state money."

Chandra N. Gill, a "civil rights activists" and director of the "Loop Lab School," was convicted for aggravated battery after fighting with a police officer in 2002. She unsuccessfully appealed, but her felony conviction was expunged while represented by an attorney brought in at the request of the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Jackson says Gill is "smart and very sensitive" and "has always had this sense of social conscience." In her petition for a pardon, Gill worried that her application for the $1 million grant and her ability to run the school might be affected by her felony record. See story here and here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope this brings Blago down. I know of two people who have been waiting to hear on clemency/pardons for longer than this Gill lady. They haven't heard a word from the governor's office. Oh, they didn't mention in their petitions that clemency would benefit the governor. They didn't know that's what it took to get the governor to DO HIS JOB. He is a joke.

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