THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER – The government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed an astonishing number of businesses into bankruptcy.
But there’s no denying that there have been some winners in the federal government’s $5 trillion federal spending spree. That figure included $745 billion in direct aid to state and local governments.
Just ask Amy Gentry, an executive assistant to Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau, who billed the agency more than $1 million since 2020 before abruptly resigning last week.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that between February and August of this year alone, Gentry accounted for some $240,000 in billings, twice the amount earned by her boss.
The revelation that an executive assistant had billed the agency as much as $60,000 in a single month appears to have been a source of embarrassment for Illinois officials.
In response to the Sun-Times report, Kevin Sur, spokesman for Tate-Nadeau’s agency, announced that Gentry was leaving and a state employee previously hired for the role would return to her $84,000-a-year post.
Normally, a political assistant billing the state $156 an hour to tap relief funds would be quite a scandal. But this is Illinois, where the bar is set a bit higher. Four of Illinois’ last ten governors have landed in prison, and the former House Speaker is set to go on trial.
Perhaps because of this, Tate-Nadeau and Gentry have decided to clam up. Both refused to be interviewed by the Sun-Times, no doubt hoping the story blows over.
The Sun-Times doesn’t appear interested in going away, however. “It sure sounds like a grift to us,” the paper’s editorial board commented Tuesday.
The story also demonstrates a gloomy reality: Congress’s $5 trillion spending spree has been riddled with fraud and abuse from the start. Precisely how much money the feds have lost due to fraud since the pandemic began is unknown.