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Feds may probe Cook Co. use of police surveillance funding
By Barbara Vitello | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/26/2010 12:00 AM

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The federal Government Accountability Office would investigate Cook County's use of funds for a police surveillance system, if a proposal by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is approved.

The proposal would be tacked onto a Homeland Security appropriations bill and would call on the GAO to look into how federal money was spend on Cook County's Project Shield system.

Project Shield was created to improve communication between the county's police departments in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

The program had come under fire for cost overruns and waste under former director Antonio Hytton, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger's onetime chief information officer, who was fired earlier this year.

Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, said Cook County's system is "one of the worst federal Homeland Security projects in America" and said an investigation is needed to make sure tax dollars are being spent properly.

The plan must be voted on by the full appropriations committee and then the full House. President Barack Obama would then have to sign the legislation into law before any GAO investigation were to commence.