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The Facts on Turner's History of Corruption

During an interview on WFMB’s “A.M. Springfield” , Doris Turner was asked twice if she will have a response to a Sandy Hamilton campaign TV ad that details Turner’s career of corruption. Turner refused to address her involvement in egregious misuse of taxpayer funds or the FBI wiretaps that caught her attempting to cover up a taxpayer-funded payroll fraud scheme.

“Doris Turner is about as corrupt as politicians come. Whether it’s repeated, egregious misuse of taxpayer funds or attempting to obstruct a federal investigation into a ghost payroll scheme, Turner’s decades in government jobs and politics are a career of corruption. Turner should stop hiding about her shady record and come clean to voters.” said Matt Butcher, Campaign Manager for Sandy Hamilton

Here are the facts about Turner’s career of corruption:

Doris Turner was caught doling out taxpayer money on a luxury Hummer, Las Vegas trip, manicures, fancy cars, and a yacht club membership

In 2011, it was reported that the Illinois Department of Public Health had given grants to a non-profit that used the money to buy a red Hummer to raise AIDS awareness. The department had given the non-profit $150,000 in grants which they used to update the Hummer to appear “Ghetto fabulous” to appeal to African Americans. The IDPH deputy director asked internally if the Hummer was bought with state funds. Doris Turner, who was chief of the department's Center for Minority Health Services, replied “I can assure you that no funds from his projects within my office were used toward the purchase of the vehicle.” It was revealed that the grant money was used to buy the Hummer.

(Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney, “YOUR TAX DOLLARS PAID FOR THIS HUMMER; Despite questions, health chief let group keep getting state deals,” Chicago Sun-Times, 9/20/11)

In 2014, Turner testified in federal court that she had approved hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofits operated by Leon and Karin Dingle who were convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. The Dingle’s used the grant money for luxury cars, homes, gifts, and a yacht club membership. Turner’s boss pleaded guilty in the case to bribery and mail fraud.

(Bruce Rushton, “Oversight? What oversight?; Charity accused of fraud,” Illinois Times, 2/26/15)

In 2015, an inspector general report detailed how Doris Turner had lacked effective monitoring of state grants. The investigation determined a nonprofit called Tower of Refuge was submitting fraudulent reports to obtain money for trip to Vegas, nail salons, and iTunes music store. The nonprofit received $210,000 in grants from IDPH. The report specifically said that Turner “violated her duty” and that she failed to follow up even after learning the organization needed to reimburse the state $7,000. Turner blamed her subordinates for the issues. Turner had said she received a complaint about the organization but never requested proof of payments. The organization also claimed that they were using the money to hire individuals for outreach services but pocketed the money instead. Turner retired a day after the inspector general’s report was released.

(Jamie Munks, “EXECUTIVE INSPECTOR GENERAL; State report: Turner failed to monitor grant spending,” The State Journal-Register, 2/19/15)

FBI wiretaps caught Doris Turner covering up a taxpayer-funded payroll fraud scheme

In 2005, Doris Turner’s husband Cecil Turner, who had previously been found guilty of stealing $7,000 worth of income-tax refunds, was fired from his job with the Secretary of State’s office for running a ghost payroll scheme. The scheme had three janitors who were skipping thousands of hours of work over 6 years and getting paid more than $150,000. The janitors would not show up to get paid and Cecil would run interference for them. Cecil had reprimanded and relieved supervisors of their duties for raising flags about the janitors. Cecil pleaded not guilty when the other three janitors all pleaded guilty. One janitor said the Cecil interceded on his behalf on several occasions. Doris had helped Cecil in the plot, but was never charged with any wrongdoing. Wiretap transcripts in the indictment show that Cecil told Doris to call the janitors to warn them that they were being investigated, which she did. The Turners also used one of the janitors implicated in the scheme to do special services at their house as his other occupation with Springfield Power and Light. Cecil was convicted of four counts of wire fraud and two counts of lying to investigators and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, fined $600 and ordered to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution.

(Dave McKinney and Chris Fusco, “Secretary of state fires official, plans same for 3 other workers: METRO,” Chicago Sun-Times, 11/18/05)

Doris Turner even had government workers do services at their home

A witness in the corruption case described above stated that Doris Turner and her husband would ask him to use his position at the Springfield Power and Light Commission to get services done for themselves and their neighbors:

“In connection with that job, Dinora said, Turner and his wife, Sangamon County Board member Doris Turner, frequently asked him to provide city services for themselves and others in their neighborhood - services like trash and branch collection, alley leveling and picking up bulky items from the alley behind the Turners' home. Dinora, as well as three public works employees who later testified, conceded those services were available to any city resident if items were blocking the alley, but said the Turners got a quick response when they made the requests.”

(Chris Dettro, “Former janitor testifies Turner interceded on behalf of crew,” Copley News Service, 9/13/06)


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