Audit slams Rauner administration over lease deals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A state audit has found that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration violated state law by awarding property leases to unqualified vendors and possibly shutting out other bidders.

Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino’s report Wednesday found that the Departments of Human Services and Central Management Services sought two sites in fall 2015 for data storage and for a telecommunications center. They awarded leases to two companies but in summer 2016, switched which sites would serve which purpose. Mautino says that violates state procurement law.

The audit was ordered by lawmakers last year when they learned that the state could have bought the warehouse for less than the $2.4 million five-year lease.

CMS spokesman Mike Deering says officials have tightened procedures and proposed legislation to analyze all leases yearly.

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