New Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino was the Deputy Leader in the Democratic House majority caucus under powerful Speaker Michael Madigan. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

After Illinois Auditor General William Holland retired last fall, three years into his third ten-year term, the General Assembly appointed state representative Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) as his replacement. Mautino, the former Deputy Leader in the general assembly, was the anointed pick of powerful House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago).

But for one state senator and 10 mostly freshman state representatives, the Mautino appointment vote exposed the bipartisan corruption that is Illinois politics. Republican leadership in both chambers pressured their own caucuses to nearly unanimously approve Mike Madigan’s deputy as auditor.

Now, Frank Mautino faces scrutiny – not from political groups – but from citizen watchdogs.

Yesterday, the noted downstate accountability group – the Edgar County Watchdogs – quantified $213,338.31 in campaign gas and vehicle repairs paid from Mautino’s political committee since 2005 into one hometown vendor: Happy’s Super Service Station in Spring Valley. The “gas” and “gas and vehicle repairs” averaged $20,000 per year or roughly $55 per day over the last ten years and nine months.

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Sue Pratt

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