Lawmakers told Blagojevich aides pushed for grant -

Lawmakers told Blagojevich aides pushed for grant

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The director of an Illinois state agency that improperly gave a $1 million grant to a private school in 2007 suggests the former governor's office was pressuring the agency to make the award.

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley told the Legislative Audit Commission on Wednesday that the agency did its best to follow proper procedures "given the direction given by the governor's office."

Ribley was DCEO's operations director when the administration of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich gave $1 million to the Loop Lab School in Chicago to rebuild after a fire.

An audit issued in July found the grant improper. The state is demanding repayment but the school is closed and only $119,000 is left from the grant.

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