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State wants company to return $2M Internet grant

Published: Saturday, March 29, 2014 12:26 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – The state government is trying to get $2 million in grant money back from a company that was supposed to be installing high-speed Internet service on Chicago’s South Side.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said the company, Cincinnati-based Gigabit Squared, has failed to provide the state with information it needs to track how the money was spent.

Agency spokesman David Roeder told the Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/1o7xFGB) that the company may have only used $250,000 of the grant for legitimate purpose and “has lied repeatedly.” Roeder said the agency has tried to get the $2 million back since January.

“We have no patience with this abuse of the public’s trust,” Roeder said.

The state sent the company a letter Thursday asking if it wants an information hearing over the dispute. The company has until April 10 to respond to the letter.

Gigabit Squared said in a statement that its leadership team has been talking with the state in an effort to resolve the project.

“This has included access to the company, its records, leadership, and meeting every deadline provided as part of the state’s normal review process,” the statement said. “We are particularly puzzled by the comments regarding our delaying the process, which is contrary to both verbal and written comments from the state indicating its appreciation for our openness and cooperation during this process.”

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