SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Witness: Rezko shared cash with Blagojevich

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008

* Take some caution with this one

Tony Rezko asked an official in Gov. Blagojevich’s administration to pay him $25,000 so Rezko could use the money to keep construction contractors from putting a lien on the governor’s home, federal prosecutors said in court today.

Prosecutors got a judge’s OK for Ali Ata — former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority — to be allowed to tell jurors in Rezko’s corruption trial about the cash payments.

Rezko told Ata “this is going to be embarrassing to him [Blagojevich]” if the contractors put a lien on Blagojevich’s Ravenswood Manor home, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton told U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

* The reasons you should be careful about assuming too much are several-fold, including this one

“Ata claims that he gave or lent cash to Rezko on four or five occasions . . . and estimates the total cash disbursements amounted to $125,000,” Rezko’s lawyers wrote. “Ata alternatively stated he did not know what the cash was for, then proceeds to say he supplied $25,000 in cash to pay certain contractors who were threatening to put a lien on another individual’s [Blagojevich’s] home.

“Ata recounted these alleged cash transactions in a suspiciously dramatic way, including meetings on ‘narrow streets’ in Chicago with ‘black plastic bags’ of cash.”

First, this is Tony Rezko allegedly telling Ata why he wanted the money. We don’t know if Rezko told the truth to Ata or if Ata concocted the story to help hi stay out of prison. And even if Rezko did tell the truth, there’s no guarantee that Blagojevich knew about it.

* But the judge will allow the testimony…

[Judge St. Eve] said such testimony was relevant because it showed the relations between Ata, Rezko and Kelly.

She did bar the prosecutors, however, from bringing in such atmospheric embellishments as “black plastic bags” and “narrow streets.”

* And, of course, there’s more

Prosecutors said Ata will say Rezko extracted four bribes from him, including the one to avert the lien. Another involved a $50,000 payment that Rezko allegedly said was destined for Blagojevich fundraiser Chris Kelly.

Ata said the money was passed in cloak-and-dagger fashion as he and Rezko drove to Kelly’s house in the southwest suburbs. “The cash is in the car when they go down there,” Hamilton said. “And when they leave Mr. Kelly’s house, the money isn’t there any more.”

Kelly, who faces criminal charges in an unrelated case, denied the allegations through his lawyer. “If Mr. Ata is saying he gave large amounts of cash to Mr. Kelly for political purposes or to get some state position, that is simply incorrect,” said Michael Monico, Kelly’s attorney.

Notice there was no denial that Kelly might have received cash for other purposes.

* And the governor’s statement

“We can’t comment on alleged conversations that the governor was not a party to,” spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said today. “As we said last year, the Blagojeviches personally paid for the work to renovate their 14-by-20 family room out of their checking account.”

Man, this is crazy stuff.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


25 Comments
  1. - anon.com - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:27 am:

    THIS IS REAL EASY TO CHECK,WHO DID THE WORK,WHEN WAS IT FINISHED,HOW MUCH DID THEY CHARGE,AND WHEN AND HOW WERE THEY PAID.


  2. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:29 am:

    In the middle of raising millions of cash for his first campaign, why would Blago need money to pay for his home remodeling? There seems to be a huge hole in this story that I wish someone would fill and give me a good reason to slam Blago because I really don’t like taking up for him. I am surprised though when he did win the office of governor, that Blago didn’t find some way to get the State to pay for the new official office of the governor.


  3. - S. Illinois - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:38 am:

    Also….how do you put $86K worth of work into a remodel of a 14×20 room? The more answers we get on this story the more questions are raised. This whole thing stinks from all sides.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:42 am:

    If Ata is to believed, he was quite the cash cow. When he testifies, I hope someone asks him all the ways he intended to benefit from his investment.


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:42 am:

    anon,com, please don’t use all caps in comments. It makes you look like a freak. I’m not saying you are a freak, I’m just sayin’. Thanks. :)


  6. - Rooster - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:51 am:

    If you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas!


  7. - anon.com - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:53 am:

    Sorry Rich my bad


  8. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    Either Blago is the unluckiest son of a gun ever… (Is there a stormcloud over his head?)

    Or, he’s a complete airhead with no concept of what’s going on around him… (How do you not know how the contractors remodeling your own home are being paid?)

    Or, he’s on his way to Club Fed… (It is possible he’s innocent in all this and can claim ‘plausible deniability’.)

    (Or some combination thereof.)


  9. - Moderate Repub - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:04 am:

    If it went down the way Ata says (which it is a definate possiblility that it didn’t), and he allowed himself to be grifted as easily as this, he pretty much deserves what he got for being an idiot. THis wasnt some big elaborate “usual suspects” or “oceans 11″ scam, Rezco droped an unbaited hook in front of Ata and the fish bit. Thats why it is so hard to believe it at all.


  10. - Moderate Repub - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:08 am:

    - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 9:59 am:

    Either Blago is the unluckiest son of a gun ever… (Is there a stormcloud over his head?)

    Or, he’s a complete airhead with no concept of what’s going on around him… (How do you not know how the contractors remodeling your own home are being paid?)

    Huh? I don’t think Blago had any idea about this because if its true at all, Rezco made up a story to Ata to suck money from him. WHy would Blago know anything about that? WHat does it have to do with him? Did we not read the same story?


  11. - Blagojevich's Shell Game - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:13 am:

    For being the control freak that he is, it’s hard to believe Blagojevich wasn’t a party to theses many conversations especially knowing how full of himself he truly is.


  12. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:14 am:

    Rich, you’re right about the CAPS, but anon’s point is a very good one. This story doesn’t seem credible. I look forward to the details.


  13. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 10:58 am:

    The Gov should have applied for an episode of “Trading Spaces” and got the work done for free.


  14. - FedUp2 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 11:04 am:

    Find out when the building permit was issued and how long it took for the job & who the contractor was and when the job was complete. Then follow the money to see when he was paid and how he was paid, by cash, check or Resko.

    The contractor could be put under oath to see if Ata’s story is creditable or if he was just in a shell game for Resko to get more money.

    Follow the money as Fitz has done!!!


  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 11:14 am:

    At least one version of the AP story that I have found online states (wrongly, of course) that the lien was on the “Illinois governor’s mansion”. I hope this has since been corrected.
    Of course, the irony is that with the financial hole our state is in, perhaps a lien will eventually have to be placed on the “official” governor’s mansion as well :)


  16. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 11:27 am:

    Is this the same home renovation that got Mr. B in trouble with unions when he was a candidate the first time, for not using union labor?


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 11:29 am:

    And speaking of misleading stories, what is an outdated NYT story headlined “Campus Shooting Site To Be Torn Down” doing on IceRocket?


  18. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 12:41 pm:

    I think what we need to be focusing on here is our
    Blago’s (he IS ours, we elected him….twice!) exceptionally poor choice of close cronies and his, shall we say, uncritical approach to classic Democratic pay to play politics, which he has sought to greatly expand during his terms of office.

    Could Rezko and/or Ata be making this up? Absolutely. They are the ultimate greedy, no-class political cronies. But wouldn’t we like to have a governor who had some judgment when it comes to
    picking business allies. I’m sure there were any number of wealthy, respectable liberal businesspersons who would have jumped to be in the guv’s kitchen cabinet. But our Blago just doesn’t get it. He feels more comfortable with the Rezko/Kelly types.


  19. - Bessie - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 12:43 pm:

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/499796,CST-NWS-rezko07.article

    I bet there are a lot of cash donations unaccounted for, check out the bottem half of this article. “$100,000 in cash stolen and 3 guns, or were they” when you read the attached link look at the date of the email April 26, and the money stolen April 27th. When are they going to charge Blagojevich with “wrongdoning”.


  20. - True Observer - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 12:55 pm:

    “The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) is a self-financed, state authority principally engaged in issuing taxable and tax-exempt bonds, making loans, and investing capital for businesses, non-profit corporations, agriculture and local government units statewide.

    IFA approves about $3 billion in project financing each year. Since its formation in 2004, IFA has approved 780 projects and funded nearly $11 billion in capital projects to support growth initiatives thoughout Illinois — initiatives that create and keep jobs, stimulate the economy and improve quality of life.”

    Ata wasn’t in it for a paycheck.

    He wanted to be in handing out $3,000,000,000.00 per year of State of Illinois backed money.

    780 projects.

    Think of all the people that could be hit up for State of Illinois backed money.

    Rezko was a piker compared to what Ata wanted to get his hands on.

    With the Teacher’s Pension Fund, at least some of the teachers are keeping an eye on its investments.

    Who was auditing the IFA?

    Money from the IFA could generate a lot more “grift” than whatever Ata was being grifted for.


  21. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    I don’t think what we know now matters. If Rezko is convicted he will sing like a bird. No way he does the full bit.

    Second, does it matter whether he (Guv) knew or not? If you recieve proceeds from a criminal enterprise you don’t get to keep them even if you didn’t know they were obtained illegally. If Rezko steals Rich’s car and gives it to the Governor, the Guv doesn’t get to keep it just because he didn’t know it was stollen.

    I am sure Lisa Madigan is investigating this issue since it is an issue of a state crime involving a contractors under state authority and real estate in the State of IL.

    Since she is vigorously trying to stamp out corruption I expect she will place a lien on the Manor until this can be sorted out.


  22. - SuperDave - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    I’m waiting for the spin sisters to say that the Governor was too busy governing to be aware of impending liens on his home office. I just hope and pray that the construction work in the living room didn’t disrupt any of the multitude of conference calls the Governor conducts from his home.

    “Hold on a second, Tony… (hey guys, can you keep it down for a second?)

    “Sorry about that Tony. Remind me later to get some soundproofing done — maybe you can help arrange that?”


  23. - GofGelnview - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 2:29 pm:

    The question is who re-did his driveway. Did Blago hire Knight E/A (a peter fax hurtgen company), of Oasis fame, to do the work?


  24. - Rob_N - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    Moderate,

    The money was supposedly for Blagojevich’s own house.

    Perhaps the money never actually went to what Ata claims Rezko says it was for, but if it did… then why wouldn’t Blago know that a lot of his remodeling costs were suddenly paid off?

    Even still, given what’s coming from Ata, Rezko, etc. my original post still stands on its own.

    What is it you are not understanding?


  25. - soccermom - Wednesday, Apr 30, 08 @ 11:11 pm:

    This makes no sense whatsoever. In my experience, it is standard operation procedure for contractors to place a temporary lien on a house until they’re paid. And anyway, wasn’t Rezko the contractor for this job? If he was concerned about a lien being place on the Governor’s house, why didn’t he just not file one? And wouldn’t Ata have realized this was goofy?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* $3 million in one pop from Rauner
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - State House fundraising report
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Has the haymaker punch arrived?
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - State Senate fundraising report
* Third straight poll shows Rauner leading Quinn
* Last call for tickets!
* Vast Majority of Illinois Voters Support Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency
* Sun-Times reporters want you to sign their petition
* Same song, different century
* Question of the day
* Quinn finally wins a newspaper endorsement!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's cable TV buy report
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Crosstabs, TV ads
* Report: Another tie between Rauner and CS-T chairman
* Bost's "anger," Cook's ratings, Foster's ad
* $580 MILLION EXELON RATE HIKE?? That’s the price tag for their nuke bailout…EVERY YEAR!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner pumping dollars
* Rauner pushing IDOT back into the news stream
* Gov. Quinn runs new TV ad featuring FLOTUS
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* No, your eyes didn't deceive you
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * CVS disables NFC terminals, stops accepting Apple Pay, Google Wallet
        * CurrentC Is The Big Retailers’ Clunky Attempt To Kill Apple Pay And Credit Card Fees
        * Google Nexus 9, Nexus 6, iPad Air 2 comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap
        * Android Lollipop imminent, new Nexuses nearing, no more Nokia | Pocketnow Weekly 119
        * U.K. Startup Swytch Is Building An App To Open Up The ‘Burner’ Phone Number Market
        * Lockdown Pro allows selectively locking almost any app
        * Pronto Fast Charge battery gives a full charge in 5 minutes

        * Tech21 Classic Shell iPhone 6 Case Review
        * Bing is Going to Help You Figure This Election Stuff Out This Year
        * Whisper Suspends Some Editorial Staff Following Guardian Report
        * T-Mobile’s Legere Launches Twitter Storm to Talk Apple SIM (And Poke Rivals)
        * This Week's Top Downloads
        * The Most Germ-Infested Item in the Office Might Be the Coffee Pot
        * CVS, Rite Aid Shut Down Support for Apple Pay

        * World Series Game 4: Notes and discussion
        * A 15-GIF salute to Moises Sierra's White Sox career
        * Konerko caps stellar career with Clemente Award
        * Konerko caps stellar career with Clemente Award
        * World Series Game 3: Notes and discussion
        * Rollins, Konerko named co-winners of Clemente Award
        * Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton Gold Glove finalists, but maybe not f...


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * More Minimum Wage Sparring..
        * No Mandatory Ebola Quarantine In Mass...
        * U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola criticizes he.....
        * US nurse angry over Ebola quarantine..
        * New York officials work to maintain calm after .....
        * U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola calls treatme.....
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillard, Sanguinetti push f.....
        * Statehouse Insider: Relax. It’s almost over..
        * U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola calls treatme.....
        * Costly Capitol renovations recognized for design..


        * Few details offered on quarantines over Ebola
        * Across US, Dems enlist Latinas for top of ballot
        * State Farm seeks to test drones in Illinois
        * Costly Capitol renovations recognized for design
        * Chicago Fire Department hired few blacks in 2014
        * Illinois lieutenant governor candidates on issues
        * Illinois lieutenant governor candidates bios
        * Lieutenant governor picks hope to help lead
        * Chicago Fire Department hired few blacks in 2014
        * Coroner's jury: July SWAT shooting justified

        * Costly Capitol doorway renovations recognized for design
        * Statehouse Insider: Relax. It’s almost over
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillard, Sanguinetti push for GOP votes
        * Feminist Gloria Steinem endorses Quinn for governor
        * Madigan, Rauner spend big on Illinois House races
        * Officials rethink early vote-counting after Madigan ruling
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring

        * Why the Chicago-Illinois tech startup partnership won't be easy
        * Republican hopes fade for a comeback in U.S. House races
        * Jennifer Pritzker talks about a year of change
        * How much money do Exelon's nukes really make?
        * Shopping startup Trunk Club sizes up the women's market


        * Keep it peaceful in Ferguson, Mo.
        * Why wasn’t Ebola doc kept under scrutiny?
        * Enthusiastic student Stan Kij, 25, dies of stomach cancer
        * Judge rejects Pistorius comparison, gives 17-year sentence in murder-for-hire plot
        * Editorial: Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Back to the past with mayor’s move
        * Illinois needs better way to deal with terminally ill inmates
        * At panel on school closings, board acknowledges more planning needed
        * Marina City residents reminded to watch their step during Wallenda’s walk
        * Republican senators question Quinn’s IDOT scandal response


        * 7 hurt in shootings Saturday
        * 2 charged in the shooting of an off-duty Chicago police officer
        * 2 held after boy, 13, fatally shot in Gary
        * Man charged with failing to reveal he had HIV to partner
        * Man charged with possession of child porn
        * Man held on $1M bail in August slaying on South Side
        * $500K bail for man accused of taking semi, critically injuring cyclist
        * 1st phase of $719 million Tri-State, I-57 interchange opens
        * $1M bail for teen charged in fatal Englewood shooting
        * 2 dead, 8 hurt in shootings Friday into Saturday


        * Listen to State Week - October 24, 2014
        * 2014 Election Coverage: Citizens, here's your homework!
        * 2 dead, including gunman, in high school shooting
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander’s 'bad acts' in court
        * Prosecutors want more of indicted police commander's 'bad acts' in court
        * Bedrock 66: Charlie Parr Plays Springfield Friday
        * Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law
        * Wild Bison Return To IL
        * Scary Story: The Diviner by Susan Vondrak
        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin


        * Costly Capitol doorway renovations recognized for design
        * Donna Treadwell: Schools are killing the joy of reading
        * Funding for our furry friends
        * Our Opinion: Cautiously optimistic Bruce Rauner has clear economic vision for Illinois
        * Statehouse Insider: Relax. It’s almost over
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillard, Sanguinetti push for GOP votes
        * Dale Becker: Why giving back is good for business
        * Statehouse Insider: Relax. It’s almost over
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillard, Sanguinetti push for GOP votes
        * Michael Bromberg: Benedictine looking ahead at changes in higher ed


        * Where did "Egypt" come from?
        * Heart Walk pumps up enthusiasm for healthy lives
        * Halloween fun masks a little learning at Children's Museum
        * Salukis 'Wild with Pride' at homecoming parade
        * Rauner plays 'outsider' in Illinois governor race
        * Illinois governor works to defend 'reformer' image
        * Ten reasons to activate your full-access subscription for The Southern
        * Illini legends, lists and lore: Otto Vogel
        * Sneak peak at men's basketball Sunday
        * Volleyball wins physical battle with No. 13 Purdue


        * No. 13 Ohio State beats Penn State 31-24 in 2OT
        * Giants surge past Royals 11-4 to tie Series 2-all
        * Elation, dejection for Fox Valley football teams
        * Blackhawks disagree with ‘interpretation' of loss
        * Porte Brown earns top Schaumburg business honor

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Ted Cruz Talks His Plan To 'Abolish The IRS'...
        * Our View: 17th Congress: Cheri Bustos...
        * Our View: 17th Congress: Cheri Bustos...
        * Our View: 17th Congress: Cheri Bustos...
        * Our View: 17th Congress: Cheri Bustos...

        * Sen. Mark Kirk helps introduce anti-cyberb......

        * Great School Tips You Require To Know About
        * The Weekend In Chicago Rock
        * Anatomy Of A Tribune Editorial
        * More Illinois voters report machine switching votes from Dem to GOP
        * More Illinois voters report machine switching votes from GOP to Dem
        * Clowns With Sex Toys Attacked Illinois Family
        * Oberweis: DOJ needs to investigate threats against Pastor Corey Brooks and his family
        * More reports on potential voting fraud in Rock Island County, Illinois
        * More reports of potential voting fraud in Rock Island County, Illinois
        * Have You Seen This Young Woman?


        * Governor Quinn Announces Major Expansion of Public Recreational Access at Lake Calumet - Project Will Be Centerpiece of Governor’s Millennium Reserve Initiative
        * Governor Quinn Welcomes Illinois National Guard Brigade Home from Kuwait - Illinois’ 108th Sustainment Brigade Returns from Deployment
        * Rauner rips Quinn on IDOT patronage oversight
        * Governor Quinn Announces Winners of 2014 Illinois Export Awards - State’s Trade Programs Help Companies Increase Global Sales
        * Governor Quinn Directs Illinois Department of Public Health to Require Quarantine to Protect Against Ebola




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller