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This just in… Cellini indicted *** Cellini attorney responds ***

Thursday, Oct 30, 2008

* 12:45 pm - From the US Attorney’s office…

WILLIAM F. CELLINI, SR., INDICTED FOR ALLEGED ROLE IN DEFRAUDING TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM WITH REZKO, LEVINE AND OTHERS

CHICAGO –A longtime political insider in Springfield was indicted today on federal corruption charges for allegedly conspiring with two Chicago businessmen and others to obtain political contributions for a certain public official by shaking down an investment firm that was seeking a $220 million allocation from the state Teachers Retirement System (TRS.) The defendant, William F. Cellini, Sr., was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Cellini, 73, of Springfield, had longstanding relationships and influence with TRS trustees and staff members and was associated with Commonwealth Realty Advisors, Inc., a real estate asset firm that managed hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of TRS, according to the indictment. He also raised significant funds for Public Official A, among others. He was charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe. He will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court.

Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.

Cellini is the 13th defendant charged as part of Operation Board Games, an ongoing federal public corruption investigation of insider-dealing, influence-peddling and kickbacks involving private interests and public duties related to various state boards and non-profit organizations.

* More…

According to the indictment, in the spring of 2003, Cellini and Levine agreed to oppose a proposal to consolidate TRS with two other state pension plans because they feared their control and influence at TRS, as well as the profits received by Commonwealth Realty Advisors, would be threatened. Cellini and Levine further agreed to seek help from Rezko and Co-Conspirator A in defeating the consolidation plan, with all four eventually agreeing that Cellini would use his influence at TRS and Levine would use his trustee position to hire investment firms that made contributions for the benefit of Public Official A. Cellini, Rezko, and Co-Conspirator A knew that Levine agreed to use his influence and position at TRS to help firms that had made contributions for the benefit of Public Official A, even though Levine understood that those firms were being chosen based on their political contributions and not on their merit.

Between February and April 2004 – at the same time Commonwealth Realty Advisors obtained allocations totaling $220 million from TRS – Cellini, Levine, Rezko, and Co-Conspirator A allegedly conspired to use their influence and Levine’s position at TRS to prevent Capri Capital from receiving a planned $220 million allocation of TRS funds unless Rosenberg and Capri agreed to raise or donate a substantial amount of funds for the benefit of Public Official A. In early May 2004, after conversations with Levine, Cellini agreed to and did tell Rosenberg that Capri was not going to receive its $220 million allocation because Rosenberg had not made a significant political contribution for the benefit of Public Official A, the indictment alleges. Once Rosenberg understood the reason Capri was not receiving funds, Cellini and Levine agreed that Cellini would direct Rosenberg to talk with Levine to arrange making the necessary contributions, the charges state.

Cellini allegedly reported back to Levine that Rosenberg would not be extorted and threatened to expose their plan to law enforcement. Cellini, Levine, Rezko, and Co-Conspirator A allegedly agreed it was too risky to continue demanding money from Rosenberg and Capri or blocking the $220 million allocation. They further agreed that, although Capri would receive the pension funds for investment purposes, Capri and Rosenberg would not receive any further business from the State of Illinois, the charges allege. In late May 2004, just five days after Levine was confronted by federal agents, Levine and the TRS board voted to allocate $220 million to Capri.

As part of the conspiracy, Cellini, Rezko, and Co-Conspirator A also allegedly agreed to and did engage in secret communications with Levine, other TRS trustees and staff members, including TRS Staffer A, concerning official actions pending before TRS. Cellini was aware that Levine concealed from and failed to disclose to the TRS board the existence of these secret communications, the charges allege. In the summer of 2004, Cellini, Rezko, Co-Conspirator A, and others allegedly discussed moving TRS Staffer A from his position at TRS into another job with a different state entity in an effort to ensure that TRS Staffer A would not cooperate with the government. And, in or around the summer and fall of 2004, in an effort to conceal the conspiracy, Cellini, Rezko and others discussed the possibility of removing the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in an effort to stop any investigation into the co-conspirators and others, the indictment alleges.

*** READ THE FULL INDICTMENT BY CLICKING HERE ***

* 1:32 pm - From the Tribune

Still, the connections between Blagojevich and Cellini run deeper than most people would think for the first Democratic governor in a quarter-century and a longtime GOP insider who is the treasurer of his county’s Republican Party.

During Rezko’s trial, the FBI identified the “Road Builders”–which Cellini has long been connected to as executive director of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association–as having bundled more than $400,000 for Blagojevich’s campaign. According to testimony at the trial, the money came from a fundraiser in October 2002 — less than a month before Election Day — at the Wyndham Hotel in Wood Dale.

The Tribune reported earlier this month that federal investigators had subpoenaed the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association for records related to Cellini’s involvement in the 2002 Blagojevich fundraiser.

After Blagojevich was elected, testimony at Rezko’s trial showed Cellini carried influence with many of the governor’s top advisers, including Rezko and Christopher G. Kelly. A few months after winning office, Blagojevich named Larry Trent as head of the Illinois State Police. A state police veteran, Trent worked seven years for Argosy Gaming Co., overseeing security and investigations. Argosy owned casinos in Joliet and Downstate Alton and was run by Cellini.

*** 3:06 pm *** Cellini’s attorney responds…

CHICAGO, October 30, 2008 – Attorney Dan K. Webb stated that his client Bill Cellini “is completely innocent of these charges, and he will fight this case because he has done absolutely nothing wrong. Bill has lived an exemplary life as a successful businessman and devoted husband and father, and he will not allow his reputation to be damaged by these unfair and unjust charges. Bill is confident that a jury will find him not guilty.

“A stronger version of these same allegations was presented to the Rezko jury, and the jury sent a strong message to the government – a not guilty verdict. The Rezko jury returned a not guilty verdict because the allegations were not supported by any credible evidence.

“We know from the Rezko trial that the victim of the alleged extortion plan, Tom Rosenberg, testified that Bill Cellini never asked him for any money and that Rosenberg never paid any money to Cellini or anyone else. In fact, Rosenberg admitted that he was the one who reached out to Cellini, a long time friend, for help with a matter Capri Capital, Rosenberg’s company, had pending before the Teachers’ Retirement System. Rosenberg admitted that Cellini did not reach out to him. And, in fact, Cellini did help Rosenberg as Rosenberg had requested.

“We also know from the Rezko trial that Stuart Levine had participated in numerous schemes over several years to extort money from Tom Rosenberg, and that Levine intentionally concealed those extortion schemes from Bill Cellini. Cellini was completely unaware of any of Levine’s schemes.

“When the Rezko indictment was returned, the government did not indict Bill Cellini on these allegations due to lack of evidence. The evidence the government subsequently presented at the Rezko trial demonstrated that Bill Cellini never asked Rosenberg for any money, for any political contribution, or for anything else. Further, the evidence demonstrated that Cellini never received any money or anything else from Rosenberg or from anyone.

“The evidence is the same today as it was then, and it is disappointing that this indictment has now been brought with no additional evidence.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

130 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    Hey Governor…

    Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock


  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:48 pm:

    Just for reference they don’t re-set who Public Official A is for each of these do they?


  3. - lucid brazzi - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:50 pm:

    After all the years of feeding at the trough, all the $$ millions he made from doing so - and all the warnings that business as usual was not longer permitted (ie. George Ryan), Bill just could not help himself and push away from the table. “How many yachts do you need to water ski behind?”


  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:53 pm:

    I’m sure POA is the same as before.


  5. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:55 pm:

    Figured as much, well then it can’t be our governor since he has told us it isn’t him….


  6. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:57 pm:

    If I were PO-A, whoever that is ;-), and thank goodness I am not, I would be rather concerned about my own personal liberty. For a guy that is dead set against relocation, it sure seems like he is headed for a new address.


  7. - LEFTY - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:57 pm:

    Is Co-Conspirator A different from Public Official A? Same person?


  8. - Clean as a Hounds Tooth - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 12:59 pm:

    Sounds like another up day for Rod Blagojevich.
    The feds are getting closer and closer.


  9. - Judgment Day Is On The Way - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:02 pm:

    Ah, Thursday morning at the federal grand jury. Wonder what they will get to work on this afternoon…


  10. - Wacker Drive - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:04 pm:

    I think it’s time to order the official Hanna Montana overnight luggage set.


  11. - How Ironic - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:05 pm:

    The gov’s approval just shrank from 13% to 12% upon this announcement.


  12. - Signs - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:09 pm:

    Looks like Big Tony is spilling the Blagojevich beans.


  13. - Wumpus - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:12 pm:

    Good! No mention of Public offical “O”? lol


  14. - scoot - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:12 pm:

    The Sangamon GOP needs to dump Cellini..the writing has been on the wall for sometime now.


  15. - BandCamp - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    I’ve said here before- can’t wait to see the mug shot.


  16. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    Now this is progress. From here they can start really putting the pieces together. Which include:

    1) The monies that went from Bear Stearns to Kjellander to Rezko.

    2) They can also get down to brass tacks on what happened on the Hospital board when it went from 15 members to 9- giving Rezko and Levine control.

    This it is all going to fall like dominos from here. Maybe we cn expect a kjellander indictment soon?

    Lucid Brazzi- you are right a lot of these guys were doing the same thing with Ryan in charge. They just refined it when POA got in and distilled it down farther and even got more brazen about it.

    This puts alot of pressure on Kelly. It must feel like a migrane.

    I don’t mean to create a partisan discussion here but actually BO get’s into the mix because he was the one who Rezko contacted to draw down the board size so that he and Levine could control it.

    Also, I forget the guys name who was chair of the TRS board but his kid worked for Hurtgen at Bear. You can expect that to play out.

    Fitzy is no joke. He’s like Elliot Ness.


  17. - Lurker - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:18 pm:

    – The gov’s approval just shrank from 13% to 12% upon this announcement. –

    lol


  18. - Eubie - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:21 pm:

    I’ll be it was sweet for Fitz to cap off the indictment with . . . “It was further part of the conspiracy that in or around the summer and fall of 2004,in an effort to conceal the conspiracy, CELLINI, Rezko and others discussed the possibility of removing the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in an effort to stop any investigation into the co-conspirators and others.”


  19. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:24 pm:

    Eubie- Again the Kjellander connection. supposedly it was he that met with Rove, although there is rumour that others indicted in Operations Board Games and surrogates had conversations there too.


  20. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:26 pm:

    1) Has Levine already been sentenced?
    2) I would LOVE IT if Kjellander went down.
    3) Keep talking Tony!
    4) hey isn’t Vrodlyak’s trial starting soon?


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:26 pm:

    Never thought I’d see the day. Cellini was a legend in Springfield when I was kid there 24 years ago.

    I think his indictment tarnishes the reputations of Thompson, Edgar and, further, Ryan, too. He was a big part of their networks; they’re smart guys. Are we too believe they didn’t know what was going on, or are we to understand he just started doing this stuff when Blago hit town?


  22. - Eubie - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:29 pm:

    BTW, Scoot, Cellini did just step down last week as Treasurer of the Sangamon Co GOP. I’d imagine he had a pretty good idea this was coming…


  23. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    “in or around the summer and fall of 2004, in an effort to conceal the conspiracy, Cellini, Rezko and others discussed the possibility of removing the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in an effort to stop any investigation into the co-conspirators and others, the indictment alleges.”

    Ten get’s you Twenty this tees up some heavy hitters…Maybe even a former Cabinet Member…


  24. - Bookworm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:38 pm:

    Anyone else still in the line (for indictments) ahead of Mr. and Mrs. Blago?


  25. - Macbeth - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:43 pm:

    So can someone explain where the vectors are here that lead to Blagojevich?

    Is this zeroing in on Blagojevich?

    Or is this just more of the mess that Blagojevich was (is) but one actor among many?


  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:45 pm:

    Macbeth, it’s more like he’s clearing his plate. First Burge, now Cellini. A new US Attorney General will be appointed soon. Time to get these pending indictments out of the way before he has to get approval all over again from somebody else who may not make it a priority.

    Get the drift?


  27. - Justice - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:47 pm:

    I honestly felt that Cellini was smarter than getting caught with the likes of Levine and Rezko. Money, power, and greed are great persuaders. So are long prison terms. Wonder how involved Kjellander is? One can only imagine the sweat this brings to Blagojevich.


  28. - OneMan - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:51 pm:

    So whats the over/under now December 10th?


  29. - Cheswick - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:53 pm:

    Co-Conspirator A must be another TRS board member - former or present. Probably present. (Just thinking out loud.)

    Macbeth, I don’t know, except maybe to say he knew about it. I do wonder if he and his wife are now in negotiations with Fitz for some kind of deal whereby he and/or she will not be prosecuted.


  30. - Cassandra - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:53 pm:

    Well, at his age, Celliini probably doesn’t want to take a chance on a long jail term–and long for a 70 something isn’t that long. So perhaps he will be able to further enlighten us as to how much our Blago knew about TRS shenanigans.

    One theme that runs through all these federal indictment stories is our Blago’s desire to have a beyond hefty campaign chest. One wonders why. A comparatively young Democrat in a blue state following a long Republican regime and the indictment of a Republican governor. How much money did he think he needed to win against Judy Baar Topinka. Was she really that scary, especially against the background of the widely publicized Ryan trial. Or any other potential Republican opponent in 2006,

    Any amazing lack of judgment–or of competent advisors.


  31. - hmm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    Note the references to Gov all now are framed as “for the benefit of Public Official A”.

    That is the extent of his mention.

    Is this a hardening or softening of the USA’s view of Gov’s involvement?


  32. - Bookworm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    The indictment documents say it came from a February grand jury. What’s taken so long?


  33. - Cheswick - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 1:56 pm:

    Although I can’t imagine what exactly Blago would have to deal with. Stepping down? Would Fitz even care about that?


  34. - Hunterdon - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:00 pm:

    It appears Tony Rezko’s meetings with federal prosecutors have proven fruitful indeed for all parties concerned. I love it when a plan comes together.


  35. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    Fitzy has never lost a case….


  36. - BandCamp - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:04 pm:

    I’m beginning to think that POA is going to invoke the plausible deniability defense, and probably becuase it is true. His wall of money makers may be crooks, but is POA? I mean, look at the way he speaks in public sometimes. He’s clueless.

    I gots me some bad friends, but just cause they are involved in shady stuff doesn’t mean I subscribe to similar behaviors.

    POA may come out of this clean of charges. And it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.


  37. - Captain America - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:07 pm:

    The dominoes are beginning to fall. Governor Pinocchio should consider vacationing/seeking political asylum in Venezuela. I think Cellini knows where a lot of bodies are buried - but maybe he’ll turn ot to be a sphinx like Mickey Segal.


  38. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:08 pm:

    ==Time to get these pending indictments out of the way==
    It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel FINE!


  39. - Downstater - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    Okay, I may be going out on alimb here…..

    I believe the term “Public Official A” is a Red Herring in these indictments.

    The only “cash gifts” given to a Blagojevich family member that were not a campaign donation or a realty fee, was the birthday cash given to little Amy Blagojevich.

    I’m confident the “A” stands for Amy.
    The Governor lives to fight another day!


  40. - Macbeth - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    I get the drift. Many thanks, Rich. :)


  41. - Leave a light on George - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    Lucid Brazzi cool name.

    Indict/Impeach but please get rid of POA now! It is the change the voters deserve this fall.


  42. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    ==And, in or around the summer and fall of 2004, in an effort to conceal the conspiracy, Cellini, Rezko and others discussed the possibility of removing the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in an effort to stop any investigation into the co-conspirators and others, the indictment alleges.==

    That was right smack dab in the middle of Fitz’s special counsel investigation of the Plame Affair.

    Libby first testified before the grand jury in March 2004. Rove in October 2004.

    Also during this time, Ashcroft was laid up in the hospital and Alberto Gonzales was throwing his weight around the Justice Department as White House counsel. He’d be appointed attorney general in February 2005.

    I always thought this particular revelation during the Rezko trial was a lot of empty boasting, but the U.S. Attorney has seen fit to include it. Wonder why?

    If anyone in the White House was dumb enough to talk to these characters about removing a U.S. Attorney who was actively investigating members of the White House staff, then this could get a lot more interesting.


  43. - Toni H. - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    Can anybody tell me why people say - “they won’t indict him as long as he is governor” ? Why is that so special if he has broken the law???? I would think he either broke the law or he didn’t (of course I believe he did) - that should not matter whether he is in or out of office.


  44. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Toni, since other Illinois governors fell from grace and out of office before the investigation wound up, it may be considered state tradition to indict our elected leaders only then. That may be why you are hearing people say that, but stay tuned to this website and we may get a surprise.


  45. - Toni H. - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:18 pm:

    You are most likely correct in your assumption. I pray the feds stay on course/task and get the job done, sooner rather than later.


  46. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===Can anybody tell me why people say===

    “People” are wrong.


  47. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:20 pm:

    Wordslinger- there was also some really unusual stuff going on where people in Operation Board Games(indicted people) were (asking) to have letters written on their behalf effectively trying to get sway in hopes that they were not going to be indicted (effectively testimonials before the indictment?). This was part of the reason that when the hammer came down Fitzy didn’t do the usual white collar criminal call “would you mind bringing your client down to Daley Plaza so we could take to him” but instead pulled up to their houses, pre-dawn, and ripped them out of bed.


  48. - anon24 - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:21 pm:

    ====…hanna montana overnight luggage====

    don’t care who y’are, that’s funny!

    thank you, wacker drive, for that LOL


  49. - Leave a light on George - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:21 pm:

    Downstater, don’t forget the $90K home inprovements that Rezko may have paid for as reported in the Sun-Times. Same kind of deal just got Sen. Ted Stevens convicted of multiple felonies.


  50. - 312 - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    Infamous political quotes…

    “I am not a crook.”

    “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    “The worst thing I can be accused of is asking my own wife to have sex in an inappropriate place.”

    “I am not Public Official A.”

    Hmmmmm….


  51. - Eubie - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    To expound on comments of “Justice” - It IS pretty stunning that Cellini didn’t have the instinct to stay away from these boobs and lay low after GHR went down. I guess the element we see again and again is - what? - the arrogance that allows these otherwise seemingly intelligent people to think they can get away with it. I mean, come on.


  52. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:31 pm:

    So far in Operation Board Games, Fitzy is batting .1000. Of the 13 indicted:

    9 Guilty Pleas (Kiefbaum, Glennon, Levine, Cari et al)

    1 Conviction (Rezko)

    3 yet to go to trial (Hurtgen,Cellini and Kelly)

    Just Two More Indcitments To Go:

    POA

    Big Bob K


  53. - Soy Milk - Formerly Known As Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:33 pm:

    wacker drive - funny stuff - good one


  54. - MOON - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    BOOKWORM

    I think the February/2008 date is the date this grand jury was put in place.


  55. - Capitol View - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    smart, to go after a Republican mover and shaker before going after Blago once Election Day comes and goes — makes the federal prosecutor look less political.

    I remember testimony at the Rezko trial that Rezko called Cellini hundreds of time on his cell phone, but Cellini never once called Rezko. Once Cellini talks, I would not be offended if he is given a suspended prison sentence.


  56. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:35 pm:

    Eubie- dead right on. I mean after Ryan went down (Hurtgen was named in that indcitment) it’s as though they were even more bold.


  57. - Legaleagle - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:35 pm:

    If/when Obama gets elected he will complete at least one of the conspiracy’s objectives: he will replace Chicago USA Patrick Fitzgerald. Indictment of POA will have to come before January 20th; or it will be ‘delayed’in Washington under the new Obama Attorney General.


  58. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    Cap View- How do you know that Cellini never called Rezko? Don’t you know these guys use pre-paid phones? As for “suspended sentence”, not sure what that means but it sounds soft, so listen to the Levine tapes if you don’t think Cellini and POA were in this deep.


  59. - anon13 - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    It obvious that all State pensions can be taken away if a Governor is convicted, but how about a Federal Pension (like for a Senator)?


  60. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:40 pm:

    LegalEagle, not a chance. Like him or not, the guy’s too smart and come too far to risk a penny of political capital on these guys. You’ll see.

    It’s nothing personal. Just business.


  61. - Downstater - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:47 pm:

    Leave a light on george,
    You make an excellent point that unpaid home improvements took down Stevens. That’s a tough one to pin on Amy….maybe.

    “Listen honey, I just shut down Pontiac prison, so you won’t have to go to any shabby places. If you just take the rap for me, Daddy gets to keep his pension.”


  62. - The Doc - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:48 pm:

    ===I gots me some bad friends, but just cause they are involved in shady stuff doesn’t mean I subscribe to similar behaviors.===

    BandCamp, sounds like defense exhibit A!


  63. - How Ironic - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:48 pm:

    Obama wouldn’t lose any sleep if the Gov gets put away. What would his rational for side lining Fitzgerald? It’s not like Blago is the KingMaker that got Obama where he is today.


  64. - Judgment Day Is On The Way - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    “BOOKWORM

    I think the February/2008 date is the date this grand jury was put in place.”

    Exactly right. Also, don’t be too surprised if Cellini isn’t actively working to cut a deal, if one isn’t already in place. He’s certainly not stupid (he’s no martyr), and he’s been watching the progression of the domino’s falling.

    If you’re going down, better to be riding the domino going down than having it land on top of you. You’ve got a little better leverage. Cellini will be smarter than Tony.

    “Fast Eddie” has got to be getting terribly concerned.


  65. - anon - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    EVERYONE is innocent until proven guilty, just ask former Representative Santiago. If anyone knows the difference between right and wrong, it IS Bill Cellini.


  66. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 2:57 pm:

    Anon- LOL

    It certainly sounds like from the Levine/Cellini tape that he knows right from wrong…


  67. - GOP'er - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    It’s about time.

    Not to pat myself on the back, but I think I predicted on here awhile back that another Republican would likely be indicted before Blago.

    I did think Individual K (Kjellander) would go the same time as his bud Individual A. So I missed that part.

    The hits keep on coming for the Illinois GOP.


  68. - Snidely Whiplash - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:20 pm:

    Man, I just saw a big flying across the sky!


  69. - Dan S, a Voter and Cubs Fan - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:20 pm:

    Wow, never thought Cellini would go down. They’ve been after him for years.


  70. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:25 pm:

    Well the Cellini camp is going to make a big case out of his him being innocent, the important thing to remember is, now, Rezko is cooperating. He will statements will back up the levine/Cellini tape.

    This is bad for Kjellander as well as he gave Rezko a check ofr nearly $500K that came from Bear Stearns and was filtered through various companies. Also, it menas that Big Bob K is going to have to explain his statements to the feds that that paymnet was “for a loan”. If that means lying to Federal Investigators he’s in big trouble.

    The hubris of these guys is amazing. It’s all so clear what they were up to.


  71. - anon - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:25 pm:

    gofglenview

    Levine proved that he is BFF with the US attorney during the last trial. It is Haloween tomorrow, so I guess that it is appropiate to say that Levine on tape is the same as being dressed in a Sarah Palin costume. Both are phonies!!!


  72. - Irish - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:30 pm:

    Could it also be thqat beyond clearing his plate Fitz is also setting up the thought process that this is the first in a line of indictments he is working towards. Which would make it harder for a new President to interrupt that line without raising eyebrows as to what his motives were. Which might allow the US Attorney to stay on and continue his work. Knid of a job preservation thing?


  73. - Next - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:30 pm:

    So, we have an indictment. It took nearly a year for Rezko’s trial and sentencing. There will be no Blago indictment before the Cellini trial is done.


  74. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:45 pm:

    Next- With Rezko having gone down (and now singing) all bets are “off”. It’s a flippers paradise right now. If Kelly were smart he’d flip- like now. They are going to get him and they already have him on the IRS stuff- cold.

    Unless he wants to spend the rest of his life in jail he will turn. Then Cellini is toast for sure. If it goes how I see it, Kjellander will be the next to be indicted.

    So to summarize:

    Kelly- Flips
    Cellini- Holds out for trial because he’s old and arrogant
    Kjellander- just goes down no deal no nothing.
    Blago is indicted with or w/o Cellini.

    The only bets that are “on” right now are bets on how far this goes on “the whole removal of US- Attorney” deal. There could be some interesting developments there.


  75. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:45 pm:

    ===There will be no Blago indictment before the Cellini trial is done.===

    Statutes of limitations will begin expiring next year. So, if there are gonna be indictments, they will come long before the Cellini trial starts.


  76. - Touchdown Rejus - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    People who are very worried right now

    Nick Hurtgen
    Chris Kelly
    Peter Fox
    Tommy Thompson
    Big Bob $
    Patti B

    People who are to stupid to be worried

    Gov. Rod


  77. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:50 pm:

    TD Rejus-

    Interesting List. Do you say Tommy B/C of the whole “removal of US Attorney” thing?


  78. - Touchdown Rejus - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 3:57 pm:

    the Hurtgen Bear connection and bond deals in Wisc.


  79. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:01 pm:

    Looks like TD Rej is off meds for two days in a row.

    word, AA’s opinion about why that reference to removing Fitz is in there is because it “got personal” if you will.


  80. - Touchdown Rejus - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:08 pm:

    connect the dots…the blago bear bond deal kickback to Big Bob…all those guys are connected to each other, if they start flipping people these guys have been indicted, served supeonas, or are being investigated for deals..to much smoke to have no fire


  81. - Sal Says - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:11 pm:

    Slightly off topic; but someone mentioned Thompson.

    Wasn’t former gov. / now ‘Statesman’ Thompson the gov when HE lost the Federal trial regarding political hiring that’s become known as Rutan?

    What a crew.


  82. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:16 pm:

    TD Rejus- The only way Fox gets dragged into this is if Cellini goes down(b/c of Knight e/a tollway etc). By that time things will be too far gone. Glenview thinks Fox goes clear. Though the same scam was running in WI I think things are too far down stream to drag that in…so by your measure Tommy goes clear. The only thing Tommy might get dragged in on is the 2004/5 get rid of Fitzy thing. It’s still unclear why he left the Admin. Wasn’t b/c of the lack flu vaccine.


  83. - Secret Square - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:18 pm:

    Snidely, did you mean to say you just saw a “pig” flying across the sky?


  84. - Fortunato - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:21 pm:

    Rich, I commend you for recognizing that Fitz will not long be US Atty in Chicago if Obama wins. Any indictments not announced in the next few weeks will be left hanging until the Public Integrity Section of the Dept. of Justice of the next president oks it and a new US Atty, appointed and confirmed with the approval of both Illinois Senators, decides to go foward with it. If Obama wins, it will be at least 6 months for all those things to be in place. If you recall, Fitzgerald’s nomination was announced in Mid-May 2001 and his confirmation came just days or weeks before 9-11. And he had FBI clearance and had passed backround checks BEFORE he was nominated. If the next president choses someone who is not presently an AUSA, the process could take longer. The other USAs in Illinois (Central and Southern Dist.s) were not even nominated until Aug. and Sept. 2001.


  85. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:21 pm:

    Sal- TD Rejus is talking about the WI Gov Thompson and I think you are refering to IL Gov Thompson…Both mind you connected to all these forementioned players


  86. - Thinking - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:29 pm:

    We will know that they are getting close when either Blago or Cellini get an attorney from outside of Winston and Strawn. As long as W&S represent both, we know that Cellini isn’t cooperating. Watch for a new firm to pop up and you know Cellini has flipped.


  87. - Say WHAT? - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:30 pm:

    312 at 2:27 You forgot “I have nothing to fear but the truth”


  88. - GofGlenview - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rich-

    When the combine “void/Vacuum” is created by Fitzy, Glenview would like to nominate A. Andersen and Wordslinger to fill in for Cellini and Bob K, respectfully.


  89. - soccermom - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:36 pm:

    ==Statutes of limitations will begin expiring next year. So, if there are gonna be indictments, they will come long before the Cellini trial starts.

    If the Feds can show a continuing conspiracy to cover up, the statute of limitations might not apply.


  90. - bluedog demo - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:38 pm:

    No way do we need Con-Con in this state. Let the politicians sort it all out and correct the corruption. Yeah right. As ” Big Bill ” so aptly illustrates, the powers that be are happy playing the game by the rules they have set. No outsiders ( common citizenry ) are welcome !


  91. - Big Mama T - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 4:55 pm:

    Rod just said that this indictment proves he can work with both parties, so it’s been an “up” day form him.


  92. - ivoted4judy - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:00 pm:

    I believe that Co Conspirator A is C. Kelly. And Rich the statute of limitatins can be extended if the conspiracy is ongoing and continuing, so much for the the limits.. G Rod has a long hot winter and summer coming.


  93. - quincy - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:02 pm:

    Big Bill is going down like Big George and same more REPUBLICAN are when this is over. And Hot Rod will drive away doing OK BY me.


  94. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:09 pm:

    It hasn’t been a good week for Julie Cellini, has it?


  95. - Judy - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:18 pm:

    Kjellander and Cellini have been joined at the hip for years. As Republican National Committeeman and a close friend of Carl Rove, Kjellander’s indictment, now inevitable, becomes national news. Illinois may have a chance to clean up, thanks to Patrick Fitzgerald. We need a parade for him + sainthood.


  96. - Been There - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:22 pm:

    GofGlenview, your statement about Kelly ===Unless he wants to spend the rest of his life in jail he will turn. ===I think is way off base. His whole indictment is about his tax problems. They will throw the book at him and I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think the sentencing guidelines for tax evasion will put Kelly behind bars for anywhere near the rest of his life. They can’t use his other problems and connection to Rod to pile on.


  97. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:24 pm:

    GofG, bite me.


  98. - NIEVA - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:25 pm:

    Janice Cellini put me to work under Edgar. Always seemed like nice folks.


  99. - walter sobchak - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:42 pm:

    On a human note: don’t you think Dan Webb is tired of defending the indefensible? I’m sure that Winston & Strawn will at least be paid this time, but it must be wearing to find yourself in the Illinois muck once again. I also wonder at the potential conflicts of representing both Cellini and Blago at the same time.


  100. - Disgusted - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:47 pm:

    Wacker Drive: Hilarious. I’m crying.


  101. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 5:49 pm:

    Just wanted to be Number 100.


  102. - Disgusted - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 6:04 pm:

    I wonder when Bill bought his hovel in Brunai? Was it before or after Stewie spilled the beans?
    Is Brunai a non-extradition country?


  103. - Joe the plumber - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 6:15 pm:

    This is NOT rocket science, former Senator Fitzgerald cut the deal with Patrick Fitzgerald. I appoint you US Senator, you give me Cellni. Took Fitzgerald a while, but being the good yes man that he is, he followed through.


  104. - Holdingontomywallet - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 6:38 pm:

    Rod needs to fuel up a plane and fly to another country with a beach. He can take his money and drink margaritas all day. Seriously, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he did leave the country. Beats a 10 x 10 cell. Poof, one day he may be gone, never to return.


  105. - IrishPirate - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:02 pm:

    Even if Blago fled the Feds would find him using stealth hair spray detecting technology.

    You can run, but the hair can’t hide.


  106. - Ima Lurker - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:05 pm:

    I think POA may use ‘Political Puffery’ as a defense. Then things will be right as rain.


  107. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:09 pm:

    My sense is that Public Official A = Blagojevich and that co-schemer A is Jon Bauman, the Executive Director of the Teachers Retirement System. Persons need to understand that Cellini has had a least a 20-25 year relationship with TRS. This was very clearly to control where the investments were made and ensure that Cellini and his friends were well taken care of.

    Cellini was good friends with former TRS Director Bob Daniels, who was also former head of the Illinois Education Association (IEA). For years Daniels was on the TRS Board of directors and effectively ran the investment committee on behalf of Cellini and friends. At some point in the 1990’s, Daniels resigned from the board and got himself appointed Executive Director of TRS. It was about this same time that Bauman was brought in, because Daniels owed a huge personal favor to Cellini involving some “family matters”.

    Daniels stayed at TRS about 5 or 6 years and resigned. At the time of his departure the FBI was at the agency to examine some behavior, but it is apparently unrelated to the current activities.

    After Daniels departure, an “outsider” was brought in to be the Executive Director. He lasted 2 or 3 years and was later ousted, largely rumor had because he wouldn’t play along with some of this non-sense that is going on now.

    Bauman was later named Executive Director and has been in the position since.

    This attitude of “you take care of me and I will take care of you” has been pervasive at TRS regarding Cellini, the investment committee throughout the Thompson, Edgar and Ryan administrations. What changed was that Blago and the boys decided to clearly quantify what level of campaign contributions were needed to continue playing the game and those that didn’t pay the price were out of luck. It wasn’t going to be enough anymore to just hold a fundraiser, you needed to payup. And obviously the appointment of Fitzgerald as US Attorney opened the door for review of these activities.

    So who is the loser? Taxpayers and our public school teachers. Leadership at the IEA had to know about these schemes, especially considering Daniels was the former IEA leader. Nothing changed after he left, so IEA in my opinion turned a blind eye as they should have been watching out for their members pensions.


  108. - Wumpus - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:25 pm:

    Daniel Webb? Are there only 3 atty’s practicing in IL?


  109. - Celliniweenie - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:27 pm:

    Rich:
    Could you have your next slave/intern do a report on Dan Webb’s various defense quotes…I think he is recycling. Clients are entitled fresh material

    And FYI
    Most now believe some or all of that cash from the Oct ‘02 funded went right into the room addition/remodeling account


  110. - Pot Stirrer - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:43 pm:

    RE: Indicting the Governor, he can be indicted in office. On the other hand, getting it to court could be an issue.
    Ex. Spitzer, NY, Fletcher, KY, Mecham, AZ, Taft, OH are examples that you can find with a simple Google search, though I admittedly don’t have all the details.

    One judge in KY ruled that the Governor could not be tried while in office. That would probably be contingent on the severity of the charges, but just try running after indictment while still in office. Could be a challenge, but be fun to watch for all of us sideliners. Maybe we will get to see that. :-)


  111. - Bookworm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:48 pm:

    Thanks for the clarification on the grand jury date.

    Based on the experience of a relative who once sat on a county-level grand jury, I believe they usually last about six months and meet at least once a week. Do federal grand juries have different rules?


  112. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 7:49 pm:

    What does the last 3 sentences of the Trib article mean?


  113. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 8:16 pm:

    ==When the combine “void/Vacuum” is created by Fitzy, Glenview would like to nominate A. Andersen and Wordslinger to fill in for Cellini and Bob K, respectfully.==

    Golfo, I think there’s an insult in there, but for the life of me I can’t figure why or what it might be. So for now, I’ll deliver a conditional “Bite Me,” that I reserve the right to withdraw or expand upon clarification.

    If there are Combine openings, I’d like to interview soon as the holidays are upon us and you can always use the extra cash. And I mean cash only.


  114. - Captain Flume - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 8:28 pm:

    Looks like a Cellini trumps a Beard, newswise anyway.


  115. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 8:45 pm:

    If I were Patrick Fitzgerald, I would immediately go before a judge and ask Cellini to turn over his passport. His daughter lives out of the country and he is known to visit often. He is a HUGE flight risk. Is no one considering this?


  116. - Link - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 9:03 pm:

    I knew Jon Bauman growing up in Champaign and Chris Kelly as well. Jon’s father (Floyd) would not be a happy camper right now but from what I recall, Jon’s ethics were sorely misplaced back when he was a young Teen at C-U Model…

    And as for Chris, well that is a similar story but in a different vein…


  117. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 9:06 pm:

    I am almost blinded by all the secret rays reflecting off the tinfoil hats on this site.

    One question, though. What’s wrong with “conspiring” to get rid of a USA? Don’t political parties conspire every day to get rid of people? It may be unseemly, but why is it illegal?


  118. - anon - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 9:12 pm:

    Will there be a trickle down effect of subpeona’s/indictments through out state agencies? Remember Rezko’s list of appointee’s. Many were strategically placed and recommended by Cellini. Combining agencies, such as the profitable ones: gaming/ lottery/horse racing, were not for budgetry reasons but for control.


  119. - A Citizen - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 9:34 pm:

    - steve schnorf -
    Maybe it has something to do with obstruction of justice? It may not be so much what was done as Why it was done.


  120. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:12 pm:

    Rich - Fortunato said:

    “Rich, I commend you for recognizing that Fitz will not long be US Atty in Chicago if Obama wins.” What is that about? Both Obama and McCain are on tape with the Chicago Tribune editorial board saying they will keep Fitzgerald. Is there something afoot?


  121. - PMG - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 10:24 pm:

    Anon 7:09 - If you don’t know what you are talking about, don’t.

    Link - Thanks for the 1970 character analysis. We should all be judged on our ethics as 14 year olds. You are a moron.


  122. - Judgment Day Is On The Way - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:02 pm:

    “Based on the experience of a relative who once sat on a county-level grand jury, I believe they usually last about six months and meet at least once a week. Do federal grand juries have different rules?”

    Federal grand jury is an 18 months term, 1 day per week (9:30 to 4:30; 1 hour for lunch), can be extended beyond the 18 month term. Extensions only occur upon agreement by a majority of the grand jury members, and the grand jury has a clear-cut picture of the cases they will be handling in the extension period.

    Pay sucks. Pay mileage, no parking furnished or paid for. However, the second floor cafeteria (for breakfast) is really pretty good. Lunch depends.


  123. - Smiling Faces - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:19 pm:

    What about all the influence Bill Cellini used at the Illinois Tollway,
    for the I-355 expansion.
    +Jack Hartman
    +Bill Cellini
    +Brian McPartlin
    +Jeff Dailey
    = $$$$$$$$$$$$ for Rod Blagojevich.


  124. - Bookworm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:35 pm:

    Smitty: Not to take the words out of Rich’s mouth, but even if Obama or McCain keep Fitz, he would still be expected to resign at the end of Bush’s term (as all US Attys do) and would have to wait for his reappointment to come through, which would take some time, probably several months at least.


  125. - Bookworm - Thursday, Oct 30, 08 @ 11:43 pm:

    Also bear in mind that there will be a new U.S. Attorney General in DC, who would have to give Fitz the OK to proceed with any prosecution. If there is a delay in confirming a new Attorney General (remember Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood?) that will delay the process.


  126. - Jon Bauman - Friday, Oct 31, 08 @ 1:46 am:

    Any time you anonymous folks or “links” (probably those tiny little breakfast weenies) want to debate the facts of any of these matters, feel free to stop by my office at TRS.

    I can’t make any sustantive comments about what transpired today, or what I read in goofy blog posts, but two things need to be said right now.

    Anon. 7:09, you have the wrong Co-Schemer A. Read the document again and you may figure it out.

    Links, Keep my dad out of your cheap shots. Jerk.


  127. - Beowulf - Friday, Oct 31, 08 @ 4:50 am:

    Don’t get me wrong. I respect Patrick Fitzgerald and his “Untouchables” but we all know where this Cellini thing is going. The newspaper headlines and federal prosecutors will say that he could face up to a zillion years in federal prison but the reality is that this won’t ever happen. He will go before a federal judge who will slap his hand and give him a minimal sentence of 6 months to 3 years at a federal white collar minimum security prison with a college dormitory setting. He will be out before the black kid who went to prison because he stole a purse with $12 and some loose change in it.
    Reality bites but that is how it works. Never steal or commit fraud over a couple thousand dollars. Do it for millions of dollars so it pays for you to go sit in jail and watch television during your minimal sentence. I personally know a guy (my ex-boss) who only did 3 years for fraud although in excess of $70 million dollars vanished. Illinois taxpayers got to pick up most of the tab. He had told me before he got caught that crime does pay. His girl friend (corporate secretary) also did less than 3 years. They were both already out of jail and living happily ever after before the civil litigants had even made their way through the court system. Crime pays and pays nicely.


  128. - Little Egypt - Friday, Oct 31, 08 @ 9:39 am:

    Steve Schnorf, the last I knew, conspiracy was against the law. It doesn’t make any difference what you are conspiring about. Your comment tells me you have been in politics WAY too long. Perhaps it’s time for you to be measured for your tinfoil hat because by wearing one, it allows us to see things more clearly - but only if you remove the rose-colored glasses.


  129. - GofGlenview - Friday, Oct 31, 08 @ 10:05 am:

    W-slinger: this is an opportunity of a lifetime. You see Cellini and Kjellander just over played thier hand by just a little. If instead of doubling down on Blago if they had just stopped with Ryan they would have gotten out clean (save for a little tarnish on their reputations but who can’t spare that) now they are looking at the big house and i mean for a long time. Same goes for Hurtgen. When your named in on Governor’s indictment you don’t go looking for angles to play in the next administration.

    Still, a 20 year run in the combine, as long as you know when to pull the rip cord, can be long satisfying siphon on the taxpayer.

    Look at Fox he’s played it perfectly.


  130. - 618er - Friday, Oct 31, 08 @ 10:06 am:

    Bookworm,
    My dad got called for a fed grand jury a couple of years ago in Benton. 1 tuesday a month for 12 months.


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