Batinick: Mautino should resign after financial scandals, court ruling
Illinois state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said Illinois is in a class all by itself when it comes to the way lawmakers have chosen to handle the ongoing scandal involving Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino.
“Only in Illinois would an Auditor General be able to keep his position while under federal investigation of his financial matters,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette. “He has been fined by the State Board of Elections and refused to pay. Now, the Appellate Court has found him in violation of campaign finance law.”
In 2016, Edgar Watchdogs reported Mautino violated rules and protocol by accepting numerous campaign donations and other expenditures between the time of his appointment to office and official start date for what is designed to be a nonpolitical office.
More recently, The Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District rendered a verdict that concluded there can be little doubt Mautino was in clear violation.
"The evidence showed the cash was obtained prior to travel by Mautino, the cash was obtained in whole dollar amounts” and Mautino would sometimes not return receipts after traveling, the court wrote in its ruling. "Without needing to consider any possible adverse inference from Mautino’s refusal to testify, we find the manner in which the Committee paid for travel expenses over a 15-year period inevitably led to at least some portion of the cash being used for personal purposes.”
Batinick is now joining Edgar Watchdog in calling for Mautino’s immediate resignation.
“He has pleaded the Fifth during proceedings,” he said. “While he has a constitutional right to do that, he does not have a constitutional right to keep his position. Option 1 is for him to thoroughly explain what has occurred with his account. If he doesn't do that, Option 2 is to simply resign. If he refuses to do that, the General Assembly should simply pass HJR12 and remove him with a vote. Explain, resign, or remove.”