Illinois governor fires back at billionaire over criticism of Chicago violence

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) fired back on Tuesday at billionaire Ken Griffin, a supporter of former Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), over increased crime in Chicago.

Griffin, who is the CEO of the multinational hedge fund Citadel, told the Economic Club of Chicago earlier this week that it was "a disgrace that our governor will not insert himself into the challenge of addressing crime in our city," according to the Chicago Tribune.

The billionaire also criticized Pritzker for not deploying the National Guard during last year's civil unrest.

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Pritzker responded by highlighting Griffin's connection to the former governor.

"Let’s remember that Ken Griffin brought you Bruce Rauner," Pritzker said, according to the Tribune. "Ken Griffin was his biggest supporter."

Pritzker went on about his commitment to increasing safety in Chicago and across the state, the Tribune reported. 

"I am very focused on the safety and security of the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois," he said. "I’ve increased significantly the resources, trying to build back from what Bruce Rauner did — with the support of Ken Griffin — to our state by increasing dollars to violence interruption, violence prevention programs, by investing in our communities."

The Tribune reported that Griffin gave Rauner $8 million a month after his 2014 election to the role of governor and then contributed another $20 million in May 2017 and $2.5 million in December 2017.

Rauner lost his reelection bid after a single term as governor during which funding for violence prevention and other social programs were halted amid budget-related disagreements between a Democratic-controlled legislature and Rauner's pro-business agenda, the Tribune noted.