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Grand jury whistles in Scott

Friday, Apr 28, 2006

It looks like Lisa Madigan’s grand jury is still quite active.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s environmental chief has been questioned before a Cook County grand jury investigating whether the governor’s office overstepped its authority last year in shutting down a landfill run by a relative of the governor’s estranged father-in-law, sources said Thursday.

Prosecutors last week brought before the grand jury Douglas Scott, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, as part of the joint probe begun more than a year ago by Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan and Cook County State’s Atty. Richard Devine’s offices, according to two sources familiar with the proceedings.

Earlier this year, the grand jury heard testimony from two EPA administrators who were involved in the closing of the Joliet landfill, including a bureau chief for the EPA’s land management division.

Scott did not head the EPA at the time the agency shut down the landfill, but the sources said that during his April 19 appearance, he was asked to detail what the EPA’s standard operating procedures are for closing landfills. Former EPA Director Renee Cipriano, now a lobbyist, headed the EPA at the time. Cipriano did not return phone calls seeking comment Thursday. […]

A law enforcement source has said the investigation centers on the EPA’s decision to close the landfill in January 2005 and whether the governor’s office engaged in official misconduct or abuse of power in calling for the EPA to look into the landfill. […]

Prosecutors have visited the homes of EPA field inspectors who were initially involved in the inspection of the 45-acre dump.

Madigan’s grand jury was empaneled for 18 months, so we could hear something out of it this summer.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:01 pm:

    So… this isn’t even something relating to Fitzgerald. It seems that everyone is circling the wagons… I wonder what Public Official A has to say about it….


  2. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:09 pm:

    Isn’t this where the “under the bus” comment became popular?


  3. - annoyed all the time - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    can’t just let it go can ya. if you picked apart every activity there would be something to say about it… someone who owns it has a cousin who used to cut hair of the woman who used to mow the governor’s lawn. i know this one seems closer with the father in law but if it was a right hting and should be investigated let it be.. noooo instead drag everyone else into the mix to give someone something to write about… like me…something more to be annoyed about in my daily life. Kindof like the parents who all brought their kids to work downtown and forgot to teach them manners and how to conduct themselves downtown - aparently that wasn’t part of the lesson on seeing mommy or daddy at work…


  4. - roy slade - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:22 pm:

    No annoyed- we are not “picking apart every activity”- we just want this administration to play by the rules, to NOT act solely based on politics, and NOT to break or bend the law.


  5. - Not him again - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:35 pm:

    Hey, in the Governor’s office, EVERY day is “take your kids to work day”… and let them run the State of Illinois.


  6. - political wind - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:56 pm:

    I have known Doug Scott for many years. Doug Scott is a very honorable public official. My strong guess is that he has absolutely nothing to do with this mess.


  7. - JohnR - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:40 pm:

    I wouldn’t highlight this issue too much if I were the Topinka campaign. In the end, it is more likely a winning issue for the Governor - him fighting to close an illegal landfill, to stop a supposed polluter, etc. And sacrificing a lot politically to do it (on purpose or not).

    All the complaints about it are too meta for the general public.


  8. - Goodbye Napoleon - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 10:24 am:

    I disagree with John R. This issue is part 1 of the Dick Mell fued. I truly believe that the personal, nasty public feud with his father-in-law is one of the reasons for Rod’s lost popularity. The more this issue is covered and the voters are reminded of the fact that the guy and his father in law had a nasty public fight will hurt Blago. This issue is irrelevant of course, but it hurts his numbers.

    “What happens in Springfield doesn’t matter.”


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