Mautino must quit for sake of office

Mautino must quit for sake of office

Frank Mautino should resign as state auditor general.

This sentiment has been voiced previously in The News-Gazette, but the need is more apparent now than ever before.

A hearing officer for the Illinois State Board of Elections has recommended that Mautino be fined for "willfully" violating the order to provide the board with more information on spending.

Over 11 years, Mautino allegedly spent more than $200,000 on gas and car repairs, and a similar amount on payments to a bank, largely for non-bank services.

The Illinois State Board of Elections asked for clarity — Mautino refused. Through his lawyer, he said that if he provided information, it would reveal election law violations.

That says it all.

The state's financial watchdog is refusing to give information on his campaign spending because doing so would reveal how he also broke election laws. Mautino has pleaded the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination and remains under federal investigation.

Mautino is innocent until proven guilty and has a right to his day in court. But this isn't about Mautino — this is about the Office of the Auditor General.

Every investigation or report produced by the OAG can now be questioned because the man who signs the reports is under investigation for conduct he himself investigates.

A higher standard applies to oversight officers. Integrity of the position must come before individuals, and to even need to question it does an enormous disservice to the work of the office and to taxpayers. This cannot happen.

Frank Mautino must step down.

FAISAL KHAN

Chief executive officer

Project Six

Chicago

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