A federal grand jury is investigating former State Rep. Robert Molaro over scholarships that he awarded to a longtime supporter's family.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the investigation is focused on Phillip Bruno and his four children.
The question is whether they were eligible to receive scholarships that Molaro gave them.
Records indicate that the children lived outside Molaro's legislative district, which means they should not have been given the scholarships.
Molaro left the general assembly in 2008.
Gov. Pat Quinn says the legislative scholarship program that's had "a cloud of scandal around it for decades" should be abolished.
The governor didn't comment directly on reports regarding Molaro or Bruno, but he
repeated his position that the university-funded scholarships handed out by state lawmakers should end.
He said he'll take action by the end of the week on a bill that would set some limits on the program. The bill "doesn't abolish the program and that's really what I think we have to do," Quinn said, without saying whether he'll veto the bill or use an amendatory veto to change it.
Quinn said he supports college scholarships based on need and merit, rather than scholarships handed out by lawmakers.
"Having a program that's had a cloud of scandal around it for decades is not the way to do that," Quinn said.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records regarding scholarships that former state legislator Robert Molaro granted to a supporter's children, according to copies of two subpoenas obtained by The Associated Press.
A phone message left by the AP for Molaro, who is now a lobbyist, wasn't immediately returned. He previously told the Chicago Sun-Times that there was nothing wrong with the scholarships he awarded.
An April 26 subpoena to the Illinois State Board of Education from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald seeks application forms, nomination forms and other documents related to legislative scholarships granted to four children of a Molaro campaign donor.
A July 20 subpoena to the board of education asks for "all documents relating to the Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships nominated/issued" from Molaro.
The Chicago Tribune reported last year that the Molaro supporter's four children may not have been eligible for the scholarships because of questions about whether they lived in Molaro's district.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)