ICYMI: Aurora Company that Donated Big to Richard Irvin’s Mayoral Campaign Received Millions in City Contracts
A new story exposes Richard Irvin for yet again saying one thing on the campaign trail and doing something else as Mayor.
Despite his promises to “bring honest and good government back to Illinois,” a closer look at Irvin’s record shows he is yet another corrupt politician looking to game the system for his own gain.
WTTW found that Aurora-based company Scientel Solutions donated over a hundred thousand dollars to Irvin’s campaign accounts and, in return, received millions in city contracts.
This isn’t the first time Irvin’s real record has been exposed. He has dodged or flip-flopped on abortion, supporting Trump, denouncing the January 6th insurrection, being funded by megadonor Ken Griffin’s gun manufacturing money, and his previous support of the SAFE-T Act.
Read key excerpts from the article below:
According to his campaign website, GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin has vowed to “fight tooth and nail to bring honest and good government back to Illinois.” But his own record as Aurora mayor raises questions about how political donations flowed from companies that were awarded municipal contracts and benefits.
A review of state campaign filings and Aurora public records shows that a company that donated more than $135,000 to political funds connected to Irvin also received millions in city contracts. That same company was also the beneficiary of legislation pushed by Irvin that could prove lucrative. It follows a pattern of Aurora businesses donating to Irvin and receiving tens of millions in public aid and tax incentives, as first outlined in a 2018 story from the Aurora Beacon-News.
One of those municipal governments is the city of Aurora itself, which has awarded more than $3.2 million in tech and security contracts to Scientel during Irvin’s tenure, according to Aurora public records. One of the contracts was for “Network Infrastructure Managed Services of city-wide network infrastructure,” at a cost of $1.8 million. The other was a three-year, $1.3 million contract to maintain city security cameras.
An examination of state campaign filings shows that Irvin’s mayoral political committee has received at least $67,000 in combined contributions from Scientel, the company’s CEO Nelson Santos, his wife, and from company employees.
Irvin did not return a call seeking comment. A campaign spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
A former Aurora council member who supported the project both times said Irvin strong-armed council members to change their votes.
“The mayor called us in one at a time and said ‘We need to make this happen,’” said former Aurora Ald. Judd Lofchie, who represented Scientel’s district and ran a failed campaign for mayor in 2021 to unseat Irvin.
“His tactics are intimidating. He feels he doesn’t need to give us a reason why,” Lofchie said. “If you’re not on board, you’re told you’re not a team player.
Lofchie says that Irvin’s record of accepting big campaign donations from companies that got city benefits has crossed ethical lines.
“Whether it’s legal or not is one thing, but it just doesn’t look good for Aurora,” Lofchie said.