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Tens of thousands of Illinois businesses and charity groups wait months to get paid money the state owes them. But state records show Gov. Pat Quinn's office pushed out a $285,000 payment to a prominent Chicago Democrat just two weeks after a lawsuit was settled.

Former Chicago alderman Martin Oberman and four other lawyers won a legal skirmish over Quinn that required a special U.S. Senate election last fall.

Democrat Quinn was required to pay legal fees. The two sides settled on $285,000 Aug. 29. It was paid Sept. 15.

Quinn's office says it's not unusual to speed up payments for legal fees. But records The Associated Press reviewed show that in September the government owed $2.9 million on 72 other legal claims - some as old as 10 months.

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