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Governor Quinn Praises State Employees for Discovering and Reporting Fraud Scheme PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 29 March 2013 08:18

Capital Development Board Staff Vigilance Resulted in Successful Prosecution of Contractor Who Violated State Law

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the investigation of the former president of a Peoria area construction firm who pled guilty to fraud in a scheme to obtain millions in taxpayer-funded state contracts. The fraud was discovered and reported by employees of the state’s Capital Development Board, which oversees all non-road, state-funded construction projects. Governor Quinn has made restoring integrity to Illinois government a top priority.

“The employees of the state’s Capital Development Board who uncovered this fraud scheme and reported it to the proper authorities are to be commended for their vigilance. Because of their careful oversight of state contracts involving millions of dollars, a clear message is being sent that corruption will not be tolerated in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “I urge all state employees to follow their example so we can make sure that all state funds are properly spent, and Illinois taxpayers can realize the benefits of state-funded projects.”

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Iowa League of Cities victory against the EPA PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 15:10
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Senator Chuck Grassley made the comment below about the Iowa League of Cities victory in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency.  In 2008 and 2009, Senator Grassley forwarded questions to the Environmental Protection Agency for the Iowa cities, including Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Ottumwa, and Waterloo.  This week, a three-member panel of the court, in a unanimous decision, said the EPA exceeded its legal authority and didn’t follow proper rulemaking.

Senator Grassley’s comment:

“The Environmental Protection Agency attempted to impose a new process for handling wastewater on several Iowa cities that would have cost Iowans hundreds of millions of dollars, but which the court has now confirmed were not necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act and current regulations.  The court rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s claim that its mandate to the Iowa cities was just an interpretation of existing rules, which is a way for agencies to make an end run around the rulemaking process, a process designed for stakeholder voices to be considered and for the federal bureaucracy to be held as accountable as possible.  This decision should send a clear signal to the EPA and other federal agencies that they must act within the law established by Congress and cannot dictate willy-nilly.”

 
Loebsack to Host Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow Roundtable in Bettendorf PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 14:57

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today he will be bringing together a group of stakeholders in Bettendorf, TOMORROW, March 28 at 10:30am for a roundtable on Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow.  Loebsack will be joined by local leaders in education, workforce development, labor and businesses to gain insight on how to ensure employees are properly trained so they can effectively compete in the 21st Century global economy.  Media are invited to attend.

Preparing Today’s Employees for the Jobs of Tomorrow Roundtable

Scott Community College

Student Life Center, Main Campus (Door 5)

500 Belmont Rd

Bettendorf

10:30am

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Conflicting Testimony in Quid Pro Quo Deal b/n DoJ and St. Paul, Minn. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 13:00

Grassley Questions Contradicting Testimony by Justice Department

Official in Quid Pro Quo with St. Paul

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pressing a key player in the quid pro quo deal between the Justice Department and St. Paul, Minn. to explain the contradiction between information given in a formal briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee staff and documents provided to the committee after the briefing.

In a letter sent today, Grassley asked Joyce Branda, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, to explain seemingly conflicting information she provided during a briefing to Judiciary Committee staff and emails she sent during the department’s handling of the deal.

“Documents clearly show that at the time of the briefing, the department was well aware of the ‘exchange’ between the Justice Department and the city of St. Paul. It makes me wonder whether Ms. Branda was instructed by higher-ups not to call the deal an ‘exchange’ when she briefed Judiciary Committee staff,” Grassley said.

Grassley has been conducting oversight of an apparent quid pro quo deal between the Justice Department and St. Paul, Minn., which turned a blind eye to potentially recovering hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Specifically, the Justice Department agreed not to intervene in a False Claims Act case in exchange for the city of St. Paul’s agreement to withdraw a separate case on housing issues that was supposed to be heard by the Supreme Court. The United States was not a party in the case before the Supreme Court, which makes it highly questionable that the Justice Department would find it appropriate to use that case as part of its deal with the city of St. Paul.  Unlike the False Claims Act cases the United States could have joined, and which could have resulted in a recovery of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, there was no direct interest of the United States in the outcome of the Magner case.  House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa are also investigating the deal.

Here is Grassley’s letter. A copy of the signed letter and the attachments can be found here.

 

March 26, 2013

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Joyce R. Branda
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530


Dear Deputy Assistant Attorney General Branda:

On February 5, 2013, you appeared before Congressional staff to provide information regarding the Department’s involvement in the decision of the City of St. Paul, Minnesota, to withdraw its petition for certiorari in Magner v. Gallagher.[1] The briefing was provided to the Majority and Minority staff of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  It is my understanding you provided a similar briefing to staff for the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on December 5, 2012.

In the February 5 briefing, you told Committee staff: “We didn’t decline to intervene in exchange” for St. Paul withdrawing Magner.  On multiple occasions in the briefing, you disputed the characterization that it was an exchange.  At the time, the Department was withholding documents about this matter from Congress.

However, documents since produced by the Department show that on March 8, 2012, you received a list of significant cases from Michael Granston, then Deputy Director in the Commercial Litigation Branch’s Fraud Section, a direct subordinate to you.[2] Twenty-five minutes later, you forwarded the document to Jonathan Olin in the Civil Division front office, writing: “St. Paul updated and edited for clarity[.]”[3] The portion of the document relating to U.S. v. City of St. Paul read:

Government declined to intervene in Newell, and has agreed to decline to intervene in Ellis, in exchange for defendants withdrawal [sic] of cert. petition in Gallagher case (a civil rights action).[4]

Accordingly, I ask that you explain why your assertions to Congressional staff were directly contrary to the documentary record.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member

 

cc:        The Honorable Patrick Leahy, Chairman

U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Chairman

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

 

The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

 

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General U.S. Department of Justice

 

[1] See Magner v. Gallagher, 132 S. Ct. 1306 (Feb. 14,2012) (dismissing writ of certiorari).

2 E-mail from Michael Granston to Joyce Branda (Mar. 8, 2010, 3:25 PM) [HJC/HOGR STP 001402-001404].

3 E-mail from Joyce Branda to Jonathan F. Olin (Mar. 8, 2010, 3:51 PM) [HJC/HOGR STP 001402-001404].

4 “Significant Affirmative Civil and Criminal Matters,” updated Mar. 8, 2012 [HJC/HOGR STP 001404] [emphasis added].




 
Local Chiropractor- Raising donations for The Quad City Honor Flight PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Luke Devlin   
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 15:12
Moline, Illinois – Local entrepreneur is helping bring awareness and raise funds for The Quad City Honor Flight.

Dr. Rebecca Bravard, owner of Quad City Spine Clinic served in The United States Army for 12 years as a Combat Medic and a Black Hawk Helicopter Crew Chief. She decided in January to do her part for our area Veterans after talking to an Honor Flight Participant. “I met a Korean War Veteran who was chosen to go on an Honor Flight. This usually stoic man teared up instantly as he spoke about the opportunity to see the Korean War Memorial in D.C. I was touched and inspired to become passionately involved to help with this cause.”

This fundraising drive is only the beginning for the Quad City Spine Clinic says Dr. Bravard, who has been giving back, since she opened her doors in Moline back in 2008. For a $40 donation to The Quad City Honor Flight, the clinic donates a consultation, medical history, orthopedic and neurological exam, x-rays (if necessary), and report of findings to all new patients. A service valued at well over the donation price. She is taking her promotion to area businesses, farmers markets, health and fitness facilities, community churches, and civic groups, along with many other community events. We are trying to raise $1,000 for the Honor Flight.

It is our goal at Quad City Spine Clinic to give back to this great community because We All Need Each Other. “I have lived all over the world and have fallen in love with the people of the Quad Cities who have welcomed me with open arms since I settled here in 2001”, says Dr. Rebecca Bravard.

Quad City Spine Clinic can be found on the web at www.quadcityspine.com. Full details can be found at http://www.honorflightqc.com/

Contact: The Quad City Spine Clinic
Address: 1523 47th Avenue Suite 2 Moline, Illinois 61265
Phone: 309.764.7272
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
URL:http://
www.Quadcityspine.com

 
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