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More trouble for the guv

Friday, Feb 24, 2006

It appears the grand jury is leaking like a sieve.

A Cook County grand jury is looking at the role two members of Gov. Blagojevich’s inner circle may have played in the shutdown of a landfill, which sparked a feud between the governor and his father-in-law, Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), sources told the Sun-Times.

Lon Monk, Blagojevich’s campaign manager and former chief of staff, and Christopher G. Kelly, a top fund-raiser for the governor, are not accused of any wrongdoing.

The grand jury, however, is focusing on whether the Blagojevich administration overstepped its authority by quickly closing the Land Reclamation Services landfill in Will County that is owned by Mell’s relative.

The investigation also is looking into contacts that Monk and Kelly may have had with at least one state agency before the closure last year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - roy slade - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 8:30 am:

    I am stunned, I say. Stunned!

    Can you imagine how bad it must be (or challanging)- to be the press flack for these band of cretens? I hope they are paying Ms. Rousch a ton of money, because she must not have much of her soul left after defending this administration in the manner that she must do.

  2. - Truthful James - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 8:53 am:

    This whole matter is garbage, pure and simple — or would be if the multi-million dollar costs of capping and ten years monitoring are factored in.

  3. - B Hicks - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 8:58 am:

    The Governor was told that a second cousin on his wife’s side might have been brazenly accepting unacceptable materials at his Joliet landfill. That is against the law. The Gov. ordered the state EPA to inspect the site and they found construction debris the dump was not licensed to accept.

    Either way, something about this landfill would have become an issue. The Governor doesn’t do anything about it and gets accused of turning a blind-eye to a family run business. Or, Rod shuts the dump down and gets into Mell’s wallet. Mell then throws out the unfounded and recanted $50,000 dollar donation card.

    The dude cleaned the place up, and now it’s reopened. Rod did his job!

    There’s nothing to see here, move on.

  4. - DOWNSTATE - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:09 am:

    The GOV. ordered the EPA? Sorry it does not work that way.A complaint is filed with the EPA and and it is read and rewrote{sometimes this takes a couple of weeks}and then the investigation begins.So if the GOV. gave an order then there is some fire with this smoke.If his staff ordered it closed then they committed a crime.

  5. - Paul Powell - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:14 am:


    You should volunteer to appear before the grand jury and enlighten them as to how things work. If nothing is amiss, I’m sure the system will work and no indictments will be forthcoming. If something is illegal, the system will work. Deal with it!

  6. - B Hicks - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:20 am:

    Look dude, he was told that the site was accepting unacceptable materials. He ordered the STATE EPA in to inspect. They found materials that the dump was not licensed to have. That is a violation of the law, it can be shut it down.

    Same as a bar serving liquor to a minor, if it violates it’s license, it can be shut down.

  7. - B Hicks - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:21 am:

    Wow PP, you told me!

  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:37 am:

    All I ask is: who cares?

    If it takes you ten minutes to explain exactly what the crime is, the public sure won’t get it. Heck, I don’t even understand what crime he supposedly committed.

    Maybe they used the phrase “overstepped its authority” because even the reporters don’t understand what the crime is?

    I do know this, I don’t hear the public clamoring for more landfills. Now, if the Governor had illegally shut down a school, that would be different….

  9. - Zach - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:45 am:

    That’s a great defense…if people don’t understand the crime, don’t pursue it…I want YDD to be my attorney!

  10. - Truthful James - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 9:58 am:

    Illegal Landfill dumping should be stopped.

    And, YDD. the public is not clamoring for Landfills. But there is a garbage problem and we are having to send trash farther and farther away, We abhor incineration — even with the best pollution control devices attached to the stacks. We could manufacture both electricity (and using another process gases and oils.) Sorry, don’t want to do that. Balefills are unpopular.

    Where landfills are approved we have to encapsulate the bottom with plastic sheeting so the liquids occuring in the degradation process do not escape. Not only will the landfill not manufacture and capture useable methane gas, a process which extends the amount of solid waste which can be contained.

    So the trucks go downstate and to Michigan, sometimes to Indiana at an increasing cost per ton mile, or we can barge it down to Mississippi, if they are still accepting.

    Out in the country they are wrstling with (if not in) hog manure solutions. In the cities we have tires.

    So the public is not clamoring for more landfills, but they are still putting out more waste.

    Not being critical, YDD, but it has begun to be a major problem as the area landfills reach capacity and have to be capped and monitored — but I mentioned that before. It is not a conservative or a liberal issue, but attention must be paid.

  11. - ISU REP - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 10:21 am:

    I think Convict Orange would be a striking color on Rod…

  12. - Walking Wounded - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 10:30 am:

    I agree, ISU, maybe he can get a room, er cell, next to Scott Faywell and they can reminisce over their defense strategies.

  13. - Anon - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 10:31 am:

    From a political standpoint, this particular investigation is completely different than all of the others. Shutting down a polluting landfill owned by a relative looks good to voters, even if you overstepped your authority to do it.

  14. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 10:46 am:

    I’ll let the judicial system decide if a crime was committed. However, I don’t think there’s much doubt that the Governor’s office used influence to expeditiously sanction one of his relatives, and then used, or tried to use this example for political gain. IMO, sanctioning someone for political reasons is kind of like the flip-side of the pay-to-play reward process for campaign contributions.

  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 11:11 am:

    What went on in this situation will be shown to be a clear abuse of power. Not before, or since, has this administration put so much effort into getting something done. They leveled all sorts of charges against the guy, shut him down, and a judge threw out the case against him.

    Now it’s somebody else’s turn to go before the judge. What goes around…

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 11:23 am:

    Sorry Truthful James, I meant who cares about the investigation. DOWNSTATE says the administration committed a crime. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what crime was committed. I’ve searched the criminal statutes endlessly, and can’t find “Overstepping Your Authority” anywhere, unless that falls under “Jaywalking”.

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    YDD…you need to find a new search regimen. How did you miss Official Misconduct?

  18. - Political Hack - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 11:54 am:

    I think you are all missing the “bigger” story. It says both Monk and Kelly are being investigated for contracts they supposedly have with state agencies…how on god’s green earth can they Monk have a contract–he gets paid by the state. And Blago along with Kelly have repeatedly stated Kelly does no business with the state. I believe that is the story! Hack on that bone!!

  19. - DOWNSTATE - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 12:20 pm:

    YDD did you see the word in my statement” IF”.Also this GOV. can not order a landfill,church,bar or anything else closed.I know he is the Democrats little Budda but there is a right way and a wrong way.As far as how can Monk have a contract with the state he knows the little Budda.

  20. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 12:31 pm:

    Apparently there has to be some question in the minds of the US Attorney, the State’s AG, or the Cook County DA that some illegal process has occurred, and therefore one or more of these offices has requested that a Grand Jury investigate. A grand jury doesn’t investigate criminal activity unless there’s been a request and there’s no request unless there’s suspicion that something illegal has occurred.

  21. - Budget Watcher - Friday, Feb 24, 06 @ 2:41 pm:

    BTW, Political Hack, the story says Monk and Kelly may have made contact with state agencies, not contracts. Fortunately, contacts are easier bones to hack on.

  22. - stephen - Saturday, Feb 25, 06 @ 10:08 am:

    Sure , nothing special here, the state EPA investigators were given unlimited overtime on this one, they collected samples and drove them to the Spfld lab and were told to stay there to await the results , not the normal course of how they conduct there investigations. sample are mailed and OT is controlled and days if not weeks to get the results, SURE nothing special here.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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