CHICAGO

Illinois Tollway Revenue Illegally Used To Balance State Budget On Blagojevich's Watch: Report

03/23/2012 03:39 pm ET

A report released Thursday revealed that tens of millions of dollars of revenue taken in by the Illinois Tollway were illegally diverted to state coffers to help balance the state budget at the direction of then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The Chicago Tribune reports that between 2003 and 2006, more than $33.6 million of tollway revenue was transferred out of the agency for general state expenses, rather than funding the maintenance and building of highways, as they, by law, are supposed to. The transfers were approved by the state General Assembly.

Tollway Inspector General James Wagner disclosed the transfers in his quarterly report to the state tollway's board.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka blocked the most recent siphoning of funds from the tollway in 2007 because she questioned its legality. Meanwhile, Tollway executive director Kristi Lafleur told the Tribune that such transfers were improper and would not continue under her leadership. Lafleur was selected as the tollway's executive director in 2010.

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