Hynes Continues to Hammer Quinn Over Inmate Release

By Mary Ann Ahern and BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 9:20 PM CDT
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Dan Hynes and Gov. Pat Quinn have started their media war.

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The early-release prison scandal won't go away for Gov. Pat Quinn.

Democratic challenger Dan Hynes' campaign says the governor has ignored two Freedom of Information requests about the roughly 1,700 inmates sent home early under a bungled program.

"Governor Quinn likes to talk about his record of openness and transparency, but on this issue of public safety he has continued to stonewall and obfuscate," said Hynes at a press event Monday.

Still, his campaign has been able to detail who some of the inmates are.

Hynes says they include 21 inmates with murder-related offenses, 20 with sexual offenses, 60 with domestic battery offenses, 90 with aggravated battery offenses, 57 with aggravated or armed robbery offenses and 63 with robbery offenses.

"Drip by drip, story by story, the public has to learn about this when they don't know the next story that's going to hit closer to home to them, in their community, and I think people need to know this," he said.

In return, Quinn threw a campaign punch to Hynes, questioning why Hynes hired an ex-felon to do consulting work.

"He hired a felon who was early release, somebody who stole $100,000 from the taxpayers. I don't think that's a good person to have on your campaign, period," Quinn said.

Hynes said the employee in question was fired once he learned of his background.

"We take action when we find out that something that shouldn't have happened, happened. We take responsibility for it, unlike the governor, who is continuing to point fingers at Department of Corrections Director [Mike Randle], saying he didn't know anything about it, not giving information about public safety," Hynes fired back.

On Wednesday, Quinn will deliver his state-of-the-state message in Springfield. Hynes and the seven Republican candidates for governor will certainly offer a counterpoint to Quinn's vision.

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