- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois treasurer’s office is launching a new, unpaid internship program to replace one that a newspaper investigation found gave paid internships to those with political connections.

Democratic Treasurer Mike Frerichs said Monday that the new program will provide students with experience in public service.

The announcement follows a report by the Chicago Sun-Times last year and a review ordered by Frerichs that called for an overhaul of the “clout heavy” program. Frerichs took office in January.

Accounting firm Plante Moran’s review found trouble spots in an office dealing with sexual harassment allegations against previous Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford by an ex-employee.

The audit says young people with connections to influential politicians, campaign donors and lobbyists were hired. It determined the program lacked formal procedures recruiting and managing interns.

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