U.S. Attorney: Ill. Dept. Public Health Official Took $433k in Kickbacks
Updated: Friday, August 9 2013, 11:39 AM CDT
A former Illinois Department of Public Health official has been indicted for allegedly receiving $433,000 in kickbacks.
Quinshaunta Golden was chief of staff at the department when she allegedly received the money in return for her distribution of $13 million in grant and contract money.
Laying out the case today, investigators called it one of the largest bribery kickback schemes by an Illinois state official prosecuted in the Central District.
"The indictment alleges that rather than promoting health for the good people of Illinois as she was entrusted, she was more concerned about lining her own pockets and those of her associates."
Between August 2006 and November 2009, Quinshaunta Golden allegedly caused the Department of Public Health to distribute $11 million in grant money to three not-for-profit organizations under the control of Leon Dingle Jr. and his for-profit company. She also steered a $2 million contract to an unnamed security firm.
Prsecutors say Golden also helped to install an unnamed individual as a paid consultant to all six.
Golden allegedly received her kickbacks from this person, and told the individual to lie to investigators.
Golden is one of 13 - along with the earlier indicted Dingle - to be snagged by an ongoing task force's investigations into grant and contract fraud.
From the tone of the press conference, she won't be the last.
"Public corruption makes my blood boil," said Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.
Which begs the question, 'who's next?'
Reporters repeatedly asked Lewis at a press conference Thursday if President Obama's close friend Dr. Eric Whitaker - the department's former director and Golden's boss - was in the task force's sights.
"At this point the evidence has taken us to Quinn Golden," Lewis said. "And the evidence has not taken us farther."
At this time, Whitaker has not been charged with a crime.
All of the task force's indictments dealing with the Department o Public Health happened at least in part during Whitaker's tenure as director.
"The question is whether Dr. Whitaker is just guilty of mismanagement or whether there is, in fact, some criminal involvement," said University of Illinois in Springfield Political Science Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield.
Story by NewsChannel20.