State to Take Back Millions from County Jobs Program

August 18, 2009

Illinois is revoking millions of dollars in grants from a scandal-tainted job training program in Cook County.

The state will take back more than $4 million because it says the President's Office of Employment and Training isn't keeping adequate financial records, among other issues.

According to a letter the state sent Cook County Friday, the jobs program has been under scrutiny since 2006.

Marcelyn Love is a spokeswoman for Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which oversees the grant process.  

LOVE: So now, we will take the time to do a thorough review and see what actions can be taken to address some of those concerns.

The state is also freezing $5.6 million related to a summer jobs program for young people. It alleges some of them were never paid for their work. The county office has been plagued by charges of corruption in recent years.

A spokeswoman for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger says he's committed to fix any remaining issues related to spending and accounting at POET, and he stands by the importance of the job training program.