Illinois AG Says $8 Million Was Misspent

     (CN) - A state contractor misspent more than $8 million in taxpayer money meant for at-risk children and their families, the Illinois attorney general claims in court.
     Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued George E. Smith in Cook County Court.
     Madigan claims Smith used taxpayer money to buy tickets to the 2009 NBA All-Star Game and Cubs, White Sox and Bulls games, personal travel expenses, artwork and audio equipment.
     Smith also paid himself more than $1 million and made several payments in unsupported consulting fees to former state Rep. Annazette Collins, according to the lawsuit.
     Madigan claims Smith used his nonprofit organization, Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care, to secure the grants through 39 state contracts. Most of the grants came from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
     Madigan says Smith promoted Diversified Behavioral as a mental health care services provider, and falsely held himself out as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, psychologist and a licensed health care professional.
     "George Smith enriched himself at the expense of taxpayers and children who were supposed to receive the critical services he was obligated to provide," Madigan said in a statement.Madigan demands restitution of more than $8 million.