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The fun never ends

Thursday, Oct 1, 2009

* Patti Blagojevich is suing her former employer the Chicago Christian Industrial League for defamation. You can read the lawsuit by clicking here.

Blagojevich claims in her suit that a top official at the CCIL accused her of “stealing” the group’s donor list. Blagojevich has said in the past that CCIL didn’t have an e-mail donor list, so she used her own e-mail list when she was hired…

In her post as director of development with the charity last year, she created a list for outreach and fund-raising, she said.

There was no such database before she arrived, Illinois’ former first lady said, so, starting from scratch, she placed 600 of personal contacts she had accumulated over the years into the index.

“The galling thing about this is before I got to CCIL — there was no e-mail list. They had no e-mail outreach at all,” she said. “I dumped all my contacts of all my friends. . . . Their list is my list.”

The controversy came to light when Michael Sneed reported that the CCIL was upset that Blagojevich was using the donor list to promote her husband’s book. That Sneed column is no longer online, but here’s the money quote

“Patti is using the list to e-mail and mail letters to people suggesting they buy her husband’s book, and it’s very, very bad form and unethical,” [Rick Roberts, director of strategy for CCIL] said.

I don’t believe Roberts ever used the words “steal” or “stole” or “stealing,” so I’m not sure whether this suit has any merit because right up front she claims that Roberts outright said one of those words…

Roberts has falsely accused the former First Lady of stealing CCIL’s donor list - something Roberts claims is proprietary - upon her termination from CCIL.

Whatever. Expect yet another media frenzy.


“What we want Mr. Roberts to do right now is retract the statement and offer an apology,” Blagojevich’s attorney Jay Edelson said. “If he’s willing to do that, we’re 80 percent there.”
Roberts could not be reached for immediate comment.

One can only wonder what that other 20 percent might be.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - chicagoeric - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    I worked in Development at CCIL before Patti. I can guarantee you that there was an email list (I created it) and a donor list. She’s full of it, just like her husband.

  2. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    Probably a job for G-Rod hosting CCIL’s weekly show on CAN-TV.

  3. - dr clean - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:25 pm:


    One can only wonder how many zeros that other 20 percent might have.

  4. - If It Walks Like a Duck... - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    I love the fine example the Blagojevichs are setting for their children. Lie if you can get away with it, then lie some more when you get caught, and if that fails, blame someone else. I’m beginning to think this is a RICO case, lock ‘em all up!

  5. - Gregor - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 12:51 pm:

    Only 20 percent of anything a Blagojevich says is true at any one time. Still, more fodder for Don & Roma.

  6. - Shore - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:09 pm:

    at first i felt bad for her. Now she’s a disgrace. I’m really going to enjoy the trial next year.

    his book btw is number 30,005 in book sales on amazon.

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    After the tapes come out will it be possible to defame Patty?

  8. - Hank - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:44 pm:

    Too bad, too sad. CCIL knew what they were getting when they hired her and took a chance that blew up in their face. Kinda like the Cubbies hiring Milton Bradley. Buyer beware

  9. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:45 pm:

    Suing the near broke homeless shelter is more defaming than anything the shelter employees said.

  10. - Red Bird fan - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    I have problems believing that the wife of a governor would need to use use her personal e-mail list for business purposes. Especially when she’s asking for money. Also, don’t employers have intellectual property clauses that basically states that anything that you create for the business, belongs to the business. I thought they were common in the workplace. I guess Patty was short on the intellect…

  11. - defending patti - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:10 pm:

    whoopee,She is not suing the shelter she is only suing roberts personaly. Please check your facts

  12. - Ghost - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:25 pm:

    Funds are apparently running low for Rod and Patti….

  13. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 2:31 pm:


    Prepare to be deposed. I’m sure you’ll be out there soon.

    This lawsuit is just the latest dumb move.

  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:22 pm:

    A dispute over who gets what when a business relationship ends is not unusual.

    Trying to win a defamation suit, against the CCIL of all groups, is a horse of a different color. What’s the track record there?

    By the way, I doubt if anybody — Daley, Cellini — wants to start dragging that whole Greektown real estate deal through the courts. They’re such sticklers for documents and truthful testimony.

    I can’t imagine she’s paying an hourly or retainer for this lawsuit. The dude is getting paid by getting his name in the paper.

  15. - zatoichi - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    If CCIL can demonstrate any name on the list PB left with was not on the list PB provided to CCIL, case closed.

  16. - Way South of the Border - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    zatoichi, I was thinking the same thing. This will be an interesting discovery process, because the electronic record will tell the tale.

    Most databases track the date a record was created or imported, sometimes there is even a source code (e.g., PB’s List).

    Given her fairly short tenure there, it should be easy to isolate any additions she made.

    What I don’t get is, if these are really her friends and associates, as she claims, why are they calling CCIL to complain about hearing from her?

  17. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 4:26 pm:


  18. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 5:53 pm:

    You gotta love attorneys who put Esq. after their own names.

  19. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 8:53 pm:

    If this goes to trial, the discovery phase would be interesting.

  20. - Wacker Drive - Thursday, Oct 1, 09 @ 10:21 pm:

    Another Blagojevich grasping at straws.

  21. - News W - Friday, Oct 2, 09 @ 7:18 am:

    I don’t think it is reasonable to report on this and then say “whatever.” As others have said, it will be pretty easy to trace the validity of this, and if she is a liar, she will be shown to be a liar. But, rise above the fray.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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