| by Orlando Ortiz and Michael Graham

Money is the lifeblood of politics and government. How elected officials spend the money entrusted to them can give insight into whether that trust is being honored or abused.

Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn (13th Ward) has made numerous questionable and illegal purchases with his aldermanic expense account and blurred the line between an attentive official working to solve constituents needs and an elected leader using tax dollars and city property to serve their political needs.

A two-part investigation by Project Six shows how Alderman Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and Speaker Madigan have misused taxpayer resources and broken city laws around aldermanic spending and the use of city equipment.

Click below to read each part:

Part 1: How the Mayor’s office, Alderman Marty Quinn illegally spent $25,000 in tax dollars

In 2015, Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn (13th Ward) illegally spent almost $25,000 of taxpayer dollars on a motor vehicle that City Council members are explicitly prohibited from purchasing with taxpayer funds.

Despite this illegal purchase being initially rejected by the Chicago Department of Finance (DOF), Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office overrode the rejection and allowed the purchase to go through–it’s unclear why.

Part 2: Alderman Quinn and Speaker Madigan are using city equipment, tax dollars for their political ads

Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn (13th Ward) and Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan have violated the Municipal Code of Chicago and Illinois election law by using equipment purchased with city tax dollars as a platform for political advertisements and potentially using the equipment outside of city limits.

The second part of Project Six’s investigation into aldermanic expense account purchases made by Alderman Quinn’s office shows questionable purchases made with taxpayer dollars, political advertisements on public property, and blurred lines in the relationship between Alderman Quinn and Speaker Madigan’s offices.