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This just in…

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2008

* 1:20 p.m.- Judge freezes Rezko account

A federal judge has frozen more than a quarter of a million dollars controlled by indicted businessman Tony Rezko, according to a court order made public today.

Judge St. Eve is expected to hear additional arguments from Duffy this afternoon on why Rezko should be released from jail to prepare for his Feb. 25 trial on corruption charges. She’ll also take up the frozen funds then.

More to come…

* 1:54 p.m. - The Judge has now ordered drug testing for star witness

St. Eve said Levine should submit to drug testing and any drug treatment that a pretrial services officer deems necessary. In a filing late Friday, Rezko’s defense team alleged that Levine had long abused drugs and questioned their impact on his memory of events.

Levine’s lawyer, Jeffrey Steinback, on Monday denied his client was a drug addict or had a drug problem.

* 2:10 p.m. - Daley backs Silverstein for ward race

Daley hinted strongly that Silverstein was planning to withold his support from Stone in the red-hot race for alderman against challenger Naisy Dolar last year. To firm up Silverstein’s support for Stone, Daley said he agreed to back Silverstein against Stone in the race for ward committeeman.

Daley said the Silverstein endorsement was hatched more than a year ago and had nothing to do with Stone’s decision to oppose the mayor’s tax-laden 2008 budget, which includes the largest property tax increase in Chicago history.

Stone called the mayor’s version “absolute bulls—.” The alderman said there was never any question he would have Silverstein’s support in the aldermanic race and the state senator needed no push from Daley.

“I don’t believe a word [Daley] says. I voted against his budget for the first time since he’s mayor and he’s teaching me a lesson. You give him 18 years of loyalty and he kicks you in the ass,” Stone said.

* 2:30 p.m. - The Governor denies knowing anything more about Rezko than what he reads in the papers

Blagojevich says candidates hope campaign donors are law-abiding and calls allegations against donors “one of the occupational hazards” of politics.

* 2:42 p.m. - More on Stuart Levine’s drug use

Rezko’s attorneys suggest that Levine called his source for drugs nearly 200 times between May 2002 and September 2004, according to the government’s own records.

* 3:30 p.m. - Rezko will remain in jail

A federal judge denied politically connected Chicago businessman Tony Rezko’s attempt to reinstate his bond Tuesday a day after his bond was revoked and he was sent to jail.

Rezko is due to start trial Feb. 25 on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and attempted extortion. He also is charged with swindling the General Electric Capital Corp. out of $10 million in loans involving the sale of a pizza business.

* 4:32 p.m. - Looks like FutureGen has fallen through. The Governor’s office just sent out a press release on it:

“The U.S. Secretary of Energy’s proposal to dismantle FutureGen is an example of politics at its worst. Secretary Samuel Bodman is not only jeopardizing the benefits FutureGen promises to deliver, but he deceived the people of East Central Illinois who spent time and resources competing for the project. We’re not giving up the fight to make FutureGen a reality in Illinois.

Just last night during his State of the Union Address, President Bush said that environmentally responsible energy is essential to keeping our economy growing, and that his budget provides strong funding for leading-edge technology, including clean coal. Secretary Bodman’s decision to reverse course on the most important clean coal project to date represents a striking contradiction to the President’s comments. I urge President Bush, who initiated FutureGen in 2003, to stand by the project and move it forward.”

- Posted by Kevin Fanning        

  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    When we have discovered his bank account manipulations, this move was necessary.

    This rat is hiding his cheese.

  2. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 1:59 pm:

    Not just hiding, it look slike he is preparing to flee. Providing his bond stakeholders the cash equivalants for their risk so that if he disappears they do not lose anything.

    Guess he is more afraid of the trial then he let on.

  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:07 pm:

    As one who has never had enough money to have cause to hide it , I have a naive question:

    Was he hiding money he was planning to use to flee, or was he just hiding money from the tax man that he can’t account for?

  4. - Siyotanka - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:14 pm:

    “Levine should submit to drug testing…” and maybe Blago to a lie detector test…Hum?

  5. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Why does Rezko need to be released from jail to prepare for his upcoming trial? There have been many many defendants who have been prepped for trial while they were living in the Gray Bar Hotel and Rezko deserves no different treatment than any other common criminal with a risk of flight.

  6. - Just My Opinion - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:17 pm:

    Here’s an idea. How about submitting Blago to drug testing. He would pass a lie detector test because he’s a pathological liar.

  7. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:22 pm:

    Don’t forget this,

    Rod Blagojevich says he only knows what he reads in newspapers about Monday’s arrest of Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

  8. - Kevin Fanning - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    Thanks Bill

  9. - Siyotanka - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:49 pm:

    Hum…didn’t know he could read. A drug test probably could not screen for what he is on. Will be real interesting if he gets subpoenaed to testify, under oath.

  10. - Dirty Man - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 2:54 pm:

    Gee. On some issues (ethical lapses) Rod knows nothing. On anything worth a media pop, it was his brilliant idea. Is he an Idiot Savant?

  11. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 3:00 pm:

    Wordslinger, from the little info I have seen it look slike he was hiding money for the purpose of fleeing. He claimed no income, but suddenly obtained a 3.6 million dollar loan from a billionair backer in the middle east (where he is from). People in the community put up property to secure his bond, so if he flees they lose the property. These folks recieved from Rezko the cash equivalant of the value of their properties (260k in one case) from a man who had allegedly had no cash. In other words he was making sure no one who secured his bond would be out money if he fled, which highly suggest he was prepping to flee.

  12. - k - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 3:07 pm:

    Feds pulled all support for FutureGen projects recently awarded to central IL.

  13. - GoBearsss - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 4:43 pm:

    Don’t worry, the feds will rebid the project. And this time they get to put it in Texas like they originally planned.

  14. - curious george - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 4:45 pm:

    Public Official “A” should be wondering how insulated from Rezko at this point. Being booked into a room in the historic, metropolitan Graybar Hotel has a propensity for loosening tight lips of those not used to such wonderful accommodations.

  15. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 5:13 pm:

    blago reads those books that are printed on news print with a lot of pictures. You know the ones with the heros that look handsome or beautiful and the villans are grotesque.

    blago talking about the Energy Secretary said “… but he deceived the people of … Illinois …” So the liar was lied too. Some how that seems like there is some poetic justice.

  16. - Beanbag ain't Politics - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 5:53 pm:

    Well I knew some kind of bad news was about to pop because the governor’s office was sending out a blizzard of meaningless “milk and cookies” good-news announcements today. Kind of like how in Soviet Russia, before they announced the premiere’s death, all the radio stations would switch to all somber classical music for a couple day’s without warning or explanation. I can’t imagine the happy talk press release blizzard what will accompany the eventual indictment. It will be epic.

    Blags was told by many in the know not to try to rush the announcement that we won Futuregen. In their mind, I think the Blago folks were trying to help force the decision as a fait accompli. I think all they wound up doing was ticking off the republicans in Washington. How much better would our lobbying efforts in Washington be if Blago wasn’t a sick joke of a governor but a powerful and skillful diplomat and negotiator? Who knows. But Durbin can’t do everything, you know.

    Best hope now is to stall the whole thing until a a democratic president comes in, I think Obama would certainly favor letting Illinois have it, Hillary, maybe less so.

  17. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 5:55 pm:

    No point in awarding it to Texas. If they do, it will go the way of the SuperCollider. As soon as the Texas President leaves office, it will become clear that Texas is the wrong place.

  18. - Beanbag ain't Politics - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 6:04 pm:

    Well, it might move to New York if Hillary wins:-)

  19. - Gregor - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 6:06 pm:

    I have to wonder, if Future Gen is so great, why we don’t / can’t we just go ahead and build the thing ourselves without the federal money?

  20. - 4% - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 6:15 pm:

    I am in disbelief that the Governor can actually use the words “politics at its worst” after what he has done to this state.

    Everybody stand back…lighting is gonna strike.

  21. - downhereforyears - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 6:21 pm:

    My take…219 just grabbed him by his manliness and asked him if there was anything that he wanted to tell them about Public Official A. After spending 2 or 3 weeks in the Metropolitan Correctional Center my guess is that he will sound like Frankie Valley

  22. - S. Illinois - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 6:23 pm:

    NBC Nightly News just did a long story on the Obama/ Rezko real estate deal, and they did a pretty good job of explaining it. Using aerial footage of the land in question and quotes from the seller’s real estate agent made the story pretty reachable for the average person. I’m not sure if/ how it will hurt him, but NBC did an effective job of simplifying a rather complicated story.

  23. - Disgusted - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 7:22 pm:

    Our governor can’t take a drug test, especially a hair sample because all that lovely dark dye would show up. That’s probably why he’s so goofy, it’s leaching into his brain. And to answer Dirty Man, no he isn’t an Idiot Savant, he’s just a plain old idiot.

  24. - S. Illinois - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 9:44 pm:

    Video of the NBC story on the Obama/ Rezko land deal is now posted:

  25. - Truth - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 10:10 pm:

    It’s always somebody else’s fault. I’m surprised he didn’t blame the Madigans for Future Gen’s falling through.

    From the beginning everybody knew this site was tenuous. I’m interested in what the Governor did to make sure that the chosen site stayed the chosen site. Did they keep working at it, or is this just another one where nobody did anything after the press release?

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jan 29, 08 @ 10:26 pm:

    You can’t blame the loss of FutureGen on Rod. DCEO did a phenomenal job with this project. It’s the Bush Energy department that decided to pull the plug after the Illinois site was chosen.

  27. - Leroy - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 7:29 am:

    Gregor - the reason Future Gen is so great is so great was because it was being built using Other People’s Money ™.

    If we have to pay for it here in Illinois…then it is not so great.

    The science lobby in Illinois isn’t near is big as say the health care, public education, or public sector union lobby. They could use the money that we’d spend on it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* *** UPDATED x2 *** Emanuel/Emmanuel
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