From Illinois Public Radio - News Local/State -

Former Illinois Department of Public Health Chief Of Staff Indicted

Jim Lewis is U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.

Jim Lewis is U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. (Amanda Vinicky/IPR)

A one-time top aide in the Illinois Department of Public Health has been indicted for bribery and taking kickbacks.

Prosecutors allege that when Quinshaunta Golden, 44, was chief of staff at the agency, she routed contracts toward certain organizations. She then allegedly arranged to get $433,000 for herself.

James E. Lewis, who is the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, alleges that collectively, $16 million of taxpayers' dollars were misused by Golden and the dozen other defendants charged as part of an ongoing investigation.

"I think this victimizes every single person who contributes tax money and who is a citizen and who cares,” Lewis said. “And it also victimizes every person who would be getting some health care, or some job training or some education."

At the time, President Barack Obama's friend, Eric Whitaker was the agency's director. Lewis said there is no chance of the investigation leading to a connection with Obama.  

Lewis refrained from absolving Whitaker, but repeatedly said there is also no information to show Whitaker was aware of the wrongdoing.
                
“We really don't comment on it beyond saying investigations continue,” Lewis said. “the evidence takes us to (Golden). It does not take us further.”

Golden, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, is also charged with mail fraud and obstruction of justice. It is the latest in an ongoing investigation into state grants and contracts carried out by a public corruption task force. 

A message seeking comment left at a residential number for Golden was not returned.