I-Team

Intelligence Report: Kelly Kraft's bankruptcy backstory

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In this Intelligence Report: The bankruptcy back story of Kelly Kraft, a state employee that Governor Pat Quinn wants to promote and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has criticized.

Kelly Kraft is Governor Pat Quinn's choice for executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, an agency that supervises multi-million dollar budgets.

But, her own personal bankruptcy backstory has focused attention on this former TV reporter, putting her in the middle of a squabble between Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel.

Kraft was hired onto the governor's communications staff after working as a television reporter. Her first assignment was in the state budget office, where she was regularly the face of Illinois budget matters as the state's current crisis was gaining steam.

What wasn't known as Kelly Kraft -- a journalism and political science graduate from Indiana University -- spoke about state finances, is that her own financial house was in the process of crumbling.

Kraft signed a federal bankruptcy filing on September 4, 2009, just a few weeks after the document says she began work in media relations for the state of Illinois in Chicago.

Court records reveal the extent of the trouble for Kraft, whose actual family name is Krapf. At the time she spoke for the budget office, the Peru, Illinois, native owed credit card companies thousands and thousands of dollars, totaling more than $102,000.

"I think what concerns me more (than the bankruptcy filing) is the lack of criteria and part of the issue of her being a former staffer, and that's controversy for us," said Common Cause Executive Director.

The war of words between the governor and the mayor was on hiatus Wednesday, with Mayor Emanuel focused on his own budget and the governor in western Illinois.

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