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Tristano roundup

Thursday, Mar 30, 2006

· Today’s Tribune story. CBS2’s story. Daily Herald’s story.

· Here’s the original Crain’s story that started it all.

· I did a follow-up in the Capitol Fax a couple of days later. (pdf file). Here’s a shorter version that I did for my syndicated newspaper column. This is a story that explained the Crain’s piece to my readers. (pdf file)

· The original Tristano indictment and a story about it.

· First indication that Tristano was cutting a deal.

· And if you didn’t look at it yesterday, here’s the final plea agreement. (pdf file)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - ME - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 7:19 am:

    Isn’t Tristano’s wife a judge (if I recall she knocked a good guy off the bench, Jim Washer)?

    All the more reason we should appoint judges instead of electing them in this state.


  2. - O6 - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 9:01 am:

    What about the other story making the rounds concerning former DNC chief and Blago backer, David Wilhelm? Allegedly, he has folded his business, sold everything and relocated to Ohio. Also allegedly, he was wearing a wire before he left town. He was one of the few with “walk-in” access to the Gov. Wasn’t wife, Dege, a business partner with now felon, Joe Cari? Just asking.


  3. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 9:21 am:

    I am amazed at how long it takes for these cases to go to court. Tristano was a good example of the saying “Give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves.”

    The other chiefs of staffs, at the time, knew he was evil. This guy was blatant.

    Lee Daniels started out as a good guy - what, 30 years ago? But, Tristano was as bad as Fawell. And everyone knew it.


  4. - Not So Fast - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 10:55 am:

    It’s interesting that you mention Fawell since George Ryan put Tristano on the Pollution Control Board and put the wife on the Labor Relations Board. Then, even though most bar groups rated her unqualified for the bench, the goons used their clout to get her on the bench. Shameful.

    Speaking of nepotism, has anybody noticed that after putting his wife on the appellate court, Ed Burke is now putting his son-in-law on the circuit court? And the guy is fairly young too (38). So much for legal experience.


  5. - babs - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 12:13 pm:

    06- you are sooo out of the loop. David’s family (in Ohio) suffered a tragedy and Dave and Dege dropped everything to help them. They moved there to help with rehab and raise children. Dave still works here several days a week and Dege is in law school. Get a life…


  6. - formerGOPstaffer - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 12:36 pm:

    When I said staff was used for campaign work for a long time I meant back into the mid ’80s. Writing about it 15 years later is a little slow. Especially when some staff were being used as sources for what was going on in legislative races. It wouldn’t have been hard to check on campaign disclosure info and state payrolls.


  7. - Beowulf - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 1:54 pm:

    It took over four years from the start of the investigation on Tristano until he got sentenced. The George Ryan investigation took even longer. My guess is that old George will probably die of a heart attack or old age before he ever sees the inside of a Federal Country Club even if he does get convicted and sentenced.
    When they said, “The wheels of justice turn slowly”, they sure weren’t kidding. The only thing George will really lose from his scamming of the public will be whatever reputation that he had accumulated in political life. That is already gone and my guess is that George could care less.


  8. - Arthur - Thursday, Mar 30, 06 @ 2:07 pm:

    Let’s not forget that Tristano was also campaign manager for Joe Birkett’s primary against Bob Coleman.


  9. - Not So Fast - Friday, Mar 31, 06 @ 11:40 am:

    Speaking of Birkett, a few other things about him bother me. Putting aside the Nicarico debacle, I seem to remember that in late November (perhaps after getting some dismal poll results regarding a run for governor or another run for AG) he announced that he would not run for a “State-wide” office because his office was too busy for him to be away campaigning. Then, just weeks later, he accepts JBT’s offer to run for Lt. Guv as her “running mate.” So, was the busy office a lie, or did the caseload suddenly clear up in such a short time?

    The other thing is that employee who was stealing all that money from victims right under his law-and-order nose. Even if they have no accounting controls over there (numerous checks were written to the same “victim” — the employee’s boyfriend, and the employee was endorsing a lot of the checks herself, so the handwriting should have stood out), what kind of judge of character is he to put a degenerate gambler in a position of trust?

    I also note that it was only after the primary that the office disclosed the true amount that was stolen — a half-million dollars. The original number released was significantly lower.

    So no, I’m not surprised that Tristano was one of Birkett’s advisers in his AG campaign.


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