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More details emerge on Kelly suicide

Monday, Sep 14, 2009 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Orlando Jones’ suicide clearly showed the stress that can be caused when the federal walls move in. Chris Kelly, facing imprisonment this Friday and enormous pressure to spill his guts on his friend Rod Blagojevich, had reportedly talked about killing himself for several days. He followed through with his threats over the weekend

His girlfriend, identified by [Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch] as Clarissa I. Flores-Buhelos, drove Kelly to Oak Forest Hospital in his black Cadillac Escalade after he sent a text message asking her for help from the parking lot of Forest Lumber in the 17200 block of Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills.

A Country Club Hills police officer spoke to Kelly, who was sitting up and alert in his room at Oak Forest Hospital. “Kelly was very hesitant,” Welch said. “He was very ill and not feeling well. And he was defensive.”

More

Oak Forest Hospital does not have a trauma unit, but doctors were able to stabilize Kelly. Doctors later decided Kelly could be better treated at Stroger Hospital in Chicago, where Kelly was taken about 5:15 a.m. Saturday and died at 10:46 a.m., Cook County hospitals officials said.

The police officer also interviewed an unidentified “male white with grey hair” who claimed to be Kelly’s friend. He told the officer who Kelly was, Welch said.

Later Saturday morning, a white man with grey hair — police are unsure if it was the same man interviewed at the hospital earlier — came to the hospital with keys to the Escalade and tried to remove it from the parking lot but was turned away by police, Welch said.

“We’re trying to determine who that is, too,” Welch said. “It could be the same white male or it could be two separate people we don’t know.”

More

At the scene, officers found vomit in the parking lot, as they did on the Escalade. Kelly’s clothing, now in evidence, was also “soaked in vomit,” according to Welch. The Escalade had been in the parking lot of the lumber yard, outside an area secured by a locked gate, and adjacent to a storage facility. Welch said police are looking into whether Kellly had a vehicle - possibly a boat - or other belongings stored at the site.

More

Police in Country Club Hills — where Tylenol wrappers and a large container of pills were found in Kelly’s SUV in the parking lot of a lumber yard — said their main witness, Clarissa Flores-Buhelos, became uncooperative with police after dropping off Kelly at Oak Forest Hospital late Friday. Her attorney vehemently denied that Flores-Buhelos is not cooperating.

What is known is that Kelly arrived at the hospital about 11:15 p.m. Friday, suffering from what appeared to be an overdose, officials said.

The police officer who interviewed Kelly in the hospital said he told him that he took Tylenol for pain because of recent surgery, said Country Club Hills Police Chief Regina Evans. On Saturday, the medical examiner’s office said Stroger Hospital officials told it that Kelly apparently had an intoxication of salicylate, a drug used in anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications such as aspirin.

Later, Kelly became “very defensive,” Welch said. He told an officer: “I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to trick me,” according to Evans. The officer said Kelly did not admit to trying to kill himself, she added.

* Things were deteriorating last week…

Last week, a federal judge placed Kelly on a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew until his jail surrender. The unusual step came, sources say, after Kelly displayed recent erratic behavior.

He paid an agitated visit to a nightclub at 2047 N. Milwaukee. As a condition of his curfew, he was told not to go near the business.

Clarissa Flores-Buhelos manages the same nightclub where Kelly became “agitated” and was subsequently banned from.

* Blagojevich says Kelly killed himself because he was being pressured to tell lies. Nobody really knows what goes through the mind of someone who does such a thing. But his attitude when being questioned by local police (refusing to answer questions, cracking that he’d just had surgery on his private parts - likely another way of describing how he’d pled guilty) suggests defiance until the bitter, bitter end.

Either way, Blagojevich will benefit from this, and that’s really too bad.

* Related…

* Scott Fawell’s Take on Kelly’s Apparent Suicide: “You wanna indict Chris Kelly, you want to send him away, you know what? Do it. But this, I’ll indict him a second time, lets indict him a third time, that’s strictly for pressure. I mean, I’d be rather surprised if Rod Blagojevich is exonerated, but no, they want one more piece, so let’s put some heat on Chris Kelly. It never stops.”

* Carol Marin: Did pressure from feds help kill Chris Kelly?

* Law used to indict Blagojevich challenged as vague

       

87 Comments
  1. - Honest Abe - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:28 am:

    Very sad ….all the way around. If I were Blago, I would feel somewhat responsible for this.


  2. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:33 am:

    “So long Frankie Five Angels.”


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:33 am:

    With all due respect and sympathy to the grieving, it’s a knee-jerk stretch to blame the feds.

    The guy was a major player who craved action. Outside of the hinky stuff with Blago, past published reports had him as a big-time gambler who was into millions with illegal bookies as well as Vegas casinos. No one has to choose that life, but everyone who does knows the stakes.

    Pressure? The guy lived for it. And it looks like he died because of it.


  4. - Indy - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:40 am:

    Right.. let’s make the feds the bad guy here. Spoken from a true man of integrity like Scott Fawell.


  5. - Quizzical - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:59 am:

    I’m not surprised but I found Blago’s comments blaming the feds despicable.

    Chris Kelly felt pressure because he had committed crimes. He also played a key role in a spectacularly corrupt administration that looted the State.

    One more example of the old adage, ‘Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time’.


  6. - Secret Square - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:59 am:

    So the remark about “surgery” was just a metaphor for what he felt the feds had done to him? My irony/sarcasm detector (and that of a lot of journalists and blog commenters) must be on the fritz.


  7. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:15 am:

    People, I’ve had to delete three inappropriate comments already today.

    I’m not interested in your dark non-humor or your over the top anger. Be a decent person or go away.

    Last and final warning. Banishments are a given today. I’m in no mood.


  8. - Have some respect - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:23 am:

    The man had three daughters and they no longer have a father. Imagine your kids having to go through this. You don’t know (nor do I) what was going through his head but it was obviously enough to make him apparently follow through on attempting to end his own life. Truly, truly sad. Pray for his family - and for yours, that you may never find yourself in a situation where the devil gets the worst of you. It could happen to any of you and quicker than you might think so be glad for what you have and make it a point to keep it that way. RIP Chris Kelly.


  9. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:25 am:

    Secret, AA thinks your gear is working ok. (Or mine is fried, too.)

    Unless I’m reading this incorrectly, at least one source (NBC 5) is quoting a Spurbury, er, Country Club Hills, Police officer as indicating the surgery had actually occurred. Here’s the quote:

    “There’s one other strange medical detail of note. After Kelly was taken to the hospital, an officer noticed tubes in or around Kelly’s groin. The officer asked about it, and Kelly said he had recently undergone some sort of surgery and was taking pain medication.”

    Link: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics/Mayor-Former-Blagojevich-Aide-Chris-Kelly-Admitted-Suicide-to-Police-59174457.html


  10. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:27 am:

    Blagojevich says Kelly killed himself because he was being pressured to tell lies.

    People don’t do that. When they tell lies, they do so to empower themselves. People doing this don’t commit suicide.

    Kelly’s lies were exposed to a point where the opposite occurred. His suicide was caused by an inability to face those he misled, and the lack of power he was facing.

    Blagojevich is wrong.


  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:29 am:

    ===His suicide was caused by===

    Suicide is an irrational act. Therefore, to try to rationalize it is impossible.

    Let’s try to avoid that, please.


  12. - Anon - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:31 am:

    Rich, out of respect for the dead, can you close comments on this thread? I cant imagine what commenters could possibly add to this discourse. The man is dead. Regardless of the governor’s actions, can we let this man, and this thread, rest in peace?


  13. - Secret Square - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    Also, what was the deal with the mayor of C.C.H. calling press conferences as if HE were in charge of the investigation and waving around Flores’ drivers’ license for the world to see? Apparently he does not care whether he humiliates a presumably innocent person who got caught up in all of this (not to mention Kelly’s wife and kids).

    While Blago may indeed “benefit” from this in the sense that he has one less potential witness against him, if Kelly was as close to him as Blago claimed he was, surely Blago and his family feel genuine grief as well.


  14. - Anon - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:34 am:

    Do you see what I mean? How do comments like that last one add insight into this horrible tragedy? This is simply an opportunity for the blago haters to get their rant on. cant they do that somewhere other than where you post updates on the investigation into chris’s death?


  15. - Bill - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:36 am:

    RIP Chris.


  16. - Joe in the Know - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:37 am:

    Anon, sorry, but this is a political website and Chris Kelly was a political person. Comments are fair game, although some are tasteless and Rich will deal with that.

    If you really want to get your ire up, head over to the Tribune or Sun Times articles on this and see what people are saying.


  17. - The KQ - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Rich - has anyone said what the reasoning is for taking him all the way to Stroger Hospital? There are several other Hospitals that are closer. Chicago Heights, Oak Lawn, Joliet all have hospitals with major trauma centers. Just wondering.


  18. - Anon - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:44 am:

    Joe, I appreciate your comment, but thats precisely why I read the cap fax blog. Rich is far better at moderating discourse on his site and insists on civility among commenters. The crazies are welcome to go to other sites, but I would like to remain here. However, I feel the opportunity for tasteless comments on this thread is an injustice to a man recently deceased with a wife and three little girls who must now continue life without Chris.

    I understand that he was a political person, but this isnt about his politics. This threas is about the developing investigation into his death and I wish it would be closed to comments.


  19. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:47 am:

    Kelly was a pretty good guy. A salesman extraordinaire. A schmoozer with the best of them who was fun to be around. He had huge vices and huge talent which is a volatile mixture.

    I think he could have been directed by disciplined leadership but O’Hare and Blago’s Illinois were not looking for good product; they were looking for cash cows. Kelly jumped in with both feet but there are plenty of people with guilty conscious’s today. Apparently, the former governor isn’t one of them.

    It’s a very sad story to me.


  20. - Joe in the Know - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:51 am:

    Anon, fair play on your comments, and I agree with the sentiments about his wife and kids. But, I must disagree that comments about this breaking political story must be stifled. I believe people should be able to make comments about the story while maintaining some sense of decency in the process.


  21. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 9:54 am:

    I am sorry for his family and this is an unfortunate event.

    It speaks a lot about Blago that such a close friend of his has died, and Blago sees only an opportunity to dis-press on the credibility of the case against himg. The complete and utter lack of morality/decency with this guy borders on socipathic.


  22. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:06 am:

    Anon, I deleted the comment in question. Was away from the blog for a bit and didn’t notice it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    ===If you really want to get your ire up, head over to the Tribune or Sun Times articles on this and see what people are saying. ===

    lol

    Yeah. Sometimes, people forget how civil we are here, even when we’re not so civil.


  24. - steve schnorf - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    Surely Marin is jesting. “Did”? When Collins implies they went too far, that’s breathtaking.

    Again, unlike most of you, I knew Kelly (slightly), and liked him. I met his wife and children.

    His everyday tax sins wouldn’t have merited more than a “pay the taxes and penalties” and a slap on the wrist were it not for Rod Blagojevich. Apparently at O’Hare he screwed people by being the low bidder.

    I’m sure he was no angel, but his death ought to be on Fitzgerald’s conscience as well as Blagojevich’s. Fitzgerald is an avenging angel at this point, meting out punishmenr sure and swift, to all in his path. I think Fawell hit it pretty close. He commits a crime, indict him, send him away as is appropriate. Indict him 3 times and offer to lessen the penalty for telling you what you want to hear? Obscene!


  25. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:17 am:

    ===If you really want to get your ire up, head over to the Tribune or Sun Times articles on this and see what people are saying. ===

    You should have read the SJR comments yesterday. Despicable.

    How any media company throw open their forum and associate their brand with some of the hatred out there is beyond me.


  26. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    Just this morning on WGN News radio they said Kelly’s cell phone is missing, and so are the keys to the Cadillac that was used to drive him to the hospital.

    I have listened to, as we all have bits and pieces of this that are all over the place. The first reports I heard on Chicago News radio was that his wife found him unresponsive. Then later that his girlfriend met him at a lumberyard and drove him to the hospital.

    I am sure there is a lot more to sort out.

    One thing that comes to mind is that he was at a lumberyard at 3 am in the morning, maybe his wife is used to him keeping all kinds of crazy hours and was not alarmed. I feel for her ( and daughters)here, how did they finally find out and from whom?
    There are reports that Kelly’s girlfriend had a nightclub which he was banned from for bad behavior. Possibly a rumor.
    This is an all out mess regardless. But you have to feel for his wife and daughters. Also it sounds like they went through a lot with him, drinking, gambling, corruption, etc. and now this.


  27. - lucid brazzi - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:25 am:

    What IS up with Welch? If I were him I would rather not have any additional attention paid. He can’t help himself to grab the microphone. One day maybe the feds will finally have him in a position where he is the focus of attention. This time as the target.


  28. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    “The KQ”
    Kelly was taken to nearby Oak Forest Hospital, part of the Cook County System, and then was transfered to Stroger Hospital, also in the Cook County System which has a trama unit, that Oak Forest did not.


  29. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:34 am:

    ===Possibly a rumor.===

    This and other items in your comment proves you didn’t pay attention to the post. Please do so before commenting again. Thanks.


  30. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:38 am:

    ===You should have read the SJR comments yesterday. Despicable. ===

    I just checked and it appears that they have since hidden all those comments.


  31. - Bill - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    ==but his death ought to be on Fitzgerald’s conscience==

    What conscience?


  32. - The Doc - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:49 am:

    Assigning blame or culpability for Kelly’s actions to Fitzgerald is inflammatory and irresponsible. Speculating on his possible motivations is one thing; strongly suggesting that this was a Hobson’s choice fueled by an overzealous US attorney is out of line.


  33. - Joe in the Know - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    Phil, your tinfoil hat is on backwards.


  34. - Yellow Dog - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:07 am:

    Bill -

    What’s with the personal attack on Fitzgerald?

    Kelly’s death is tragic, period, as is any suicide.

    Its as shameful for folks to try to blame his death on prosecutors (Blago) as it is for anyone to try to blame it on Rod.


  35. - Yellow Dog - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:10 am:

    Let me clarify:

    I haven’t seen any conclusive evidence yet that this WAS a suicide.


  36. - Cousin Ralph - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:11 am:

    What a tragedy for his family. The sad truth is, that there are many who are addicted to politics like some are addicted to booze or drugs. It is all imcompassing. When we tolerate, as we do, a political culture that is corrupt, the addicted do what they think they need to get ahead –to be a player. A corrupt system draws people in and when the law is finally enforced, the crash is catastophic.
    Are the Feds to blame? Part of their modus operendi is to put the long, slow, painful squeeze on people. The tremendous stress it excacts is what is intended. I dont blame the Feds. Yet, I do feel for anyone (and his or her family) who is put through the ordeal.
    For those picking winners and losers, the question for you is what does it say when one reads of tragedy such as this and the focus is not on the humanity of the deceased, but on the politics of the day? Illinois politics is a meat grinder.


  37. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:13 am:

    I’m so very sad for the family. And something about this incident really shakes me to my core. If you read this
    blog you care about the world of politics and government.
    Our world of politics and government in Illinois is in a
    very bad place. It’s everyone’s responsibility to do things
    to make our state a better place. I don’t think the system
    or any players caused the suicide, if it is that. But when
    something like this happens I do feel it is incumbent on all
    of us to look at what we do and try to do so much better.
    and pray for those daughters. what a horrible tragedy.


  38. - Joe in the Know - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:28 am:

    Phil, to answer your question, yes, it is unreasonable to susoect he was murdered. Haven’t you read the news accounts? He told the police that he overdosed on pain and anti-inflammatory medication.

    What in the world are you talking about “how many people have to die”? What does this mean? The man took his own life. Why do these types of circumstances always bring out the nutters like yourself who think there is more to the story?


  39. - I'm just saying - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:29 am:

    Oh Please Phil, Take your Meds or go back to Illinois Review……..


  40. - Red Ranger - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:32 am:

    Is anyone bothered by the actions of the Mayor of Country Club Hills? Why is he on TV making so many statements? Claiming the girlfriend had “lawyered up” and talking about the police investigation. Shouldn’t the police be doing this. It seems like he’s grandstanding a bit too much for the Mayor of a town that had a suicide or maybe a murder.


  41. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    ===Is anyone bothered by the actions of the Mayor of Country Club Hills? ===

    Yes.


  42. - Leave a Light on George - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Mr.Schnorf, I have deleted my comment twice before sending but I can’t contain myself,

    Your double standard troubles me greatly. The suicide of a convicted felon just before he reports to prison should be on the conscience of the federal prosecutor. But G. Ryan and Fawell, who both benefited from the license for bribes scandle bear no responsiblity for the tradgedy that resulted - the death of the Willis children.

    Even when nice people do bad things there are consequences.


  43. - IrishPirate - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    I’m a pro prosecution type of guy, but there need to be limits.

    Far too many prosecutors abuse their powers.

    Patrick Fitzgerald is a zealot. Zealots aren’t known for using their discretion.

    I appreciate the work he has done fighting corruption in Illinois and DC, but it’s time to add some “compassion” to his passion and common sense to the way he charges people.

    As for Kelly’s death it is a tragedy for his family.

    This constantly charging and recharging people who don’t cooperate can sometimes be an abuse of power and discretion.


  44. - Plain and simple - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    Rich,
    Mayor Welch is an unprofessional, grandstanding fool! I mean showing someone’s driver’s license on television but apparently not talking to his own officers to find out that the girlfriend is scheduled to talk to the officers the next day.

    This guy was just on the news again! (Channel 9) he can’t shut up!


  45. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    I don’t know if this will rate deletion or not but it does seem to me that Kelly’s personal weaknesses got the better of him and also were probably exploited to the maximum by various people. It seems like there are predators and prey. Sometimes the predators get caught in a trap but more often they scamper off brazenly. The unspoken subtext is Kelly’s apparent mid-life crisis, banging up against a prison term. That must have been brutal. As they say, too often the victims give away their intentions, but nobody notices until too late.


  46. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:49 am:

    It should be said, Phil, you are banned for the rest of the day.

    Go away.

    Next person I delete is banned for life.


  47. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:51 am:

    I think the tragedy for Kelly’s family started some time ago, really. Really a sad story when you look at the whole picture. I do feel bad for the wife and daughters. And a certain somebody uses the weekend’s event to bolster his gripe against the US Attorney. Shame!


  48. - Jake from Elwood - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    I was taught to respect the dead, no matter what they have done in life. Rest in peace, Mr. Kelly.
    Still, there are a lot of loose ends that need to be investigated here. Mayor Welch, please go away and let law enforcement do their jobs without interference. . .


  49. - Secret Square - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    It’s inevitable that the timing of Kelly’s death (just before going to prison), the nature of the crowd he ran with during his life (Blago, other pols, gamblers), and the conflicting accounts of the circumstances surrounding his death (exact cause of death, whom did he call and when, etc.) are going to generate endless conspiracy theories, no matter what the outcome of the investigation, and no matter how much proof there may be that this was self-inflicted. Yet another endless nightmare for his family.


  50. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:00 pm:

    P&S-

    Welch may be a “grandstanding fool” as you say, and interjecting too much conjecture where a professional “we are cooperating with the authorities” would suffice. But he is without a doubt one of the more popular south suburban mayors within his own constituency, and I think he catches more flak from the outside than from the villagers on this one.


  51. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:02 pm:

    I’m waiting for Jesse Jackson to have a talk with Mayor Welch for usurping the police chief’s role. What was Welch, a sergeant? And he pulled rank on a chief? Not cool. An African-American female chief. Duh!


  52. - If It Walks Like a Duck.. - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:08 pm:

    Receive, Lord, in tranquility and peace, the souls of your servants who have departed out of this present life to be with you. Give them the life that knows no age, the good things that do not pass away; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


  53. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:25 pm:

    === But G. Ryan and Fawell, who both benefited from the license for bribes scandle bear no responsiblity for the tradgedy that resulted - the death of the Willis children. ===

    The Willis tragedy was the result of a a mudflap-taillight assembly falling off and puncturing the gas tank of a mini van. The driver was travelling at the speed limit and driving in a safe manner by all accounts.

    I would say Ryan and falwell are blameless. Now the maker of the mini van that did not put a safety shield around the gas tank is another conversation.


  54. - cassandra - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    I’m sorry for the family of course as I am for the families of all suicides (assuming this was one).But I wonder how much this has to do with Blago and politics and how much has to do with Mr. Kelly’s personality and emotional makeup. He was obviously a high-stakes gambler, in business, in Vegas, and in his political dealings, and those individuals can be prone to mood swings and impulsive acts. Also, we have learned that the public is not well informed about the dangers of mixing medications. Anyway, it’s silly to blame this on the feds, or anybody for that matter.

    ahem..I noticed that too. The police chief was mute at a press conference she should have been running. Tacky tacky. Citizens of this Chicago suburb should take note.


  55. - Electric Boogaloo - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:30 pm:

    Good coverage Rich. Feel terrible for his family and friends. I have many problems with the investigation but these are the ones that jump out: I cannot think of any other instance in an investigation where the mayor or police holds up a witnesses drivers license, gives her date of birth, spells her name and gives out her address. I half expected to hear him provide her SS#. Apparently, people aren’t allowed to exercise their constitutional rights in his town. Also, it doesn’t make me feel very confident living in a county where a person is under hospital care for 11 hours, is stabilized and allegedly coherent, but still does not survive.


  56. - one day at a time - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    Suicide is a tragedy to the living by an irrational person. No sympathy for the reason(s) CK chose that path. From all accounts he detoured that direction by his own choice years ago and his decisions/actions finally caught up with him. I feel sorry for him for making those decisions and for his family.
    BUT for Blago to tout this as Kelly metaphorically falling on his own sword rather than betray him is unconscionable !


  57. - True Observer - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:38 pm:

    For once, he went for the sure thing.

    Conviction erased.

    His family gets to keep his ill gotten gains.


  58. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    Cassandra, I’d just like to add that the chief is named Regina Evans and I hope that she gets better treatment by the mayor soon and if not, Mayor Welch really does deserve to get whacked by the voters next time around.


  59. - Quinn T. Sential - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:43 pm:

    The Mayor of CC Hills has demonstrated his inability or unwillingness to conduct himself with any sense of propriety or decorum in this situation, and has left the village open to civil liability on several fronts as a result. Questions related to any death investigation being conducted by the Police Department should be addressed to; and responded to, by the Chief of Police, not the highest elected official. The only time the highest elected official should be responding to questions pertaining to a death investigation is in the event that there is some perceived ongoing danger to the community as a result of the incident and the known facts at the time of the press conference thereafter.

    You have to understand though that this is the guy that had the town Fire Department conduct a training exercise by; uh hummmm. demolishing his pool house. His politiical organization was also under investigation by the State Board of Elections, for spending $40,000 on remodel his campaign headquarters. The investigation was seeking to determine if the remodeling represented a violation of a state prohibition against political candidates using campaign funds to pay for expenses related to their personal residence. The “campaign headquarters” in question of course turns out to be inside his three-car garage, which he was expanding and equipping with a new kitchen and bathroom to better serve as a party and meeting room. This of course makes it easier to host the weekly campaign organization pool parties in his 18-by-36-foot, in-ground swimming pool all summer.

    Can you imagine if Reschke was successful in securing the 10th casino license for Country Club Hills instead of Bluhm in Des Plaines? This would have been a combination of Disney’s Main Street, and the Town of Cicero under Betty Loren Maltese.

    Someone needs to push this guy off the stage before his antics bankrupt the town from jury awards.


  60. - Anon - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    The mayor said that the investigation will be “timely and consuming.”


  61. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 12:53 pm:

    Anon, maybe the next development will be some judge throwing a gag order on Mayor Welch…. That would sure spoil the comedy.


  62. - steve schnorf - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:12 pm:

    TO raises a good point. He plead, he was sentenced, he died before beginning to serve his sentence. What is the legal status of the charges/pleas?


  63. - BigDog - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:16 pm:

    This is a tragic event, pure and simple. The aftermath has bordered on the bizarre. I can’t remember a single story like this having so many conflicting reports, rumors, contradictions, allegations, etc., not to mention an elected official who can’t keep his trap shut when there was really no reason for him to open it in the first place. Unfortunately for our State, the Blagojevich stain will not wash off anytime soon.


  64. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    Also, it doesn’t make me feel very confident living in a county where a person is under hospital care for 11 hours, is stabilized and allegedly coherent, but still does not survive.

    We are in the very early stages of this story and should not jump to conclusions. There are many potential explanations, ranging from the plausible to the incompetent to the sinister.


  65. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:19 pm:

    How do events (apart from absolution of guilt) post-verdict impact on the verdict? I don’t see it. On the other hand, the family’s future is somewhat less murky now, although without a father they could be much worse off.


  66. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:22 pm:

    What is the legal status of the charges/pleas?

    I am not sure of the legal term, but usually the case is dismissed. In a civil action, the claim can outlive the plaintiff and/or defendant through their estates.


  67. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:24 pm:

    6°, couldn’t liver or kidney failure be a factor? Seems like those could fit the circumstances. That’s all I’m going to say on that, because it’s getting into creepy territory.


  68. - Okay Then... - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:46 pm:

    oh well.


  69. - Little Egypt - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    It’s going to be difficult to prove “suicide” over “accidental overdose.” I hope for the sake of his wife and children, it is the latter. I have a friend who has experienced suicide in her family and it’s not a good memory to live with for the rest of your life - no matter who you were.


  70. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    I still wonder why Mayor Welch would have his hands on Clarissa Flores-Buhelos driver’s license? Shouldn’t it have been secured with all the items being investigated?

    Mayor Welch is to have a press conferance Wednesday morning. Hopefully he will show more professionalism. But from what I have seen and heard from Welch, I can only hope he has all his facts together, because he has also been a source of conflicting reports.

    I commented earlier on things on heard on WGN News radio on my way into work. Some things contradict what was printed in the papers this morning (which were posted on this blog) .

    It’s unfortunate that Kelly’s family will suffer the most from all of this constant coverage, as if the tradgic sudden departure of Kelly wasn’t bad enough for them.


  71. - So Sad - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    I told my 15 yr.old son of this sad story on the way home from church. There are consequences for our choices in life and sometimes, those who appear to be powerful and connected are the ones who suffer the saddest endings. The moral of the story is self-evident. My prayers are for Mr. Kelly and his family.


  72. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    QTS and Anon, here are a few more gems from Mayor Florsheim-Face:

    “Who’s Hispanic? I can’t pronounce her name Hispanically.”

    “I’m giving you a lot of insight into how law enforcement works.”

    “We had an artopsy…toxology tests..”

    “He was in a nightgown at the hospital.”

    As someone who knew Chris, rest assured he would have some comments not suitable for this blog about that performance.

    IIWLAD, thanks for your post. Probably the best one of the day IMHO.


  73. - Bluefish - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:26 pm:

    It is strange he would choose aspirin to end his life. According to Wikipedia, acute aspirin poisoning has only a 2% mortality rate. Not the most efficient way to kill oneself.

    My sympathy to his wife and daughters. No one should have to go through this…period…let alone having the details about him calling his girlfriend blasted all over the media.


  74. - A Citizen - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:31 pm:

    Interestingly, much of Fitzgeralds aggressive charging has been based on the “witholding of honest services” law - this has been characterized as vague and possibly not constitutional and in fact is to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps not directly related to Kelly but it is to Blago, Fawell, Ryan and others. Without that law, the line is not so clear between political and criminal.


  75. - Area 2 - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:38 pm:

    Orlando Jones circumstances - bizarre.

    John Ruff circumstances - bizarre.

    Chris Kelly circumstances - bizarre.

    Rod Blagojevich’s morning arrest before an indictment - bizarre.

    Not one post mentioning Rezko the scumbag - bizarre.


  76. - A Citizen - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

    I just noticed that Rich referenced this in an article in the Daily Herald at the end of his intro to this thread. Rich, if you need me to restate the obvious just let me know . . . sheesh.


  77. - Cheswick - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    I’m disturbed by Rod Blagojevich using Chris Kelly’s death to his own advantage in the court of public opinion. It’s one thing to use it in court documents and verbally before the judge. But, to go around showing anything but remorse for what happened and sympathy for the family at this point is despicable.


  78. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 4:18 pm:

    Hey Rich, any thoughts on Clarissa Flores having Terry Gillespie for her lawyer? How do you suppose that happened? Does there seem to be any chance that the mystery man was a lawyer or P.I. that Clarissa grabbed for the ride to CCH?


  79. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    Considering that she has a few bucks, she might know the guy.


  80. - Cheswick - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    Unsolicited advice for the next media person to interview Blagojevich:

    1. Ask him when the last time was he talked to his good friend, Chris Kelly. Was it on the phone, in person, where? What did they talk about?

    2. Ask him when the last time he and his family got together with his good friend, Chris Kelly and his family, or anyone else? Where was it and what did they do? What did they talk about?


  81. - Joe in the Know - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 4:39 pm:

    Cheswick, you write that comment with the naive belief that Rod would give a straight answer. Rod has never answer a question straight.


  82. - irving & ashland - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 5:14 pm:

    >One thing that comes to mind is that he was at a lumberyard at 3 am in the morning, maybe his wife is used to him keeping all kinds of crazy hours and was not alarmed. I feel for her ( and daughters)here,

    Well, I’ll write this cautiously, and if you want to delete it, I’ll understand.

    But I think we have to at least temper the many maudlin “think of his wife and daughters” comments with the Sun-Times reporting that he wasn’t living there. That he was living with Flores-Buhelos downtown. It may make more sense to say of Ms. Flores-Buhelos “think of his grieving girlfriend” than to bring up his wife, who may have made peace with her loss a while ago.

    I still feel for them as well. And I’m not judging harshly. He’s far from the only one in such a living situation. Just saying that if commenters are going to raise emotional pleas for sympathy, the emotional ties should really be as strong as they imply. I’m not getting that feeling here.


  83. - Say WHAT? - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 5:25 pm:

    I am sad and disheartened that Rod Blagojevich, who called himself Chris Kelly’s “friend” would make Chris’ death about himself. I pray for the Kelly family. Their pain and embarrasment - I cannot even fathom.

    One day we will answer for what we have done here. Rod has no fear of the one to whom he will give an account. God help him - VERY sad.


  84. - ahem - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 5:29 pm:

    To Rod Blagojevich, everything IS about himself. You should know that unless you’re an out-of-stater. Wait a minute, that’s not an excuse any more ;-)


  85. - Bookworm - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 7:42 pm:

    Kenneth Lay of Enron infamy died after his conviction in a jury trial, but before he was sentenced. His conviction was vacated because he would not have a chance to appeal it.

    Would the feds do the same for Kelly — vacate his guilty pleas? Perhaps, but there are two very big differences between Kelly’s case and Lay’s: 1) Kelly could not have appealed his guilty plea to a higher court, and 2) Kelly had already received his sentence at the time of his death, whereas Lay had not.


  86. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:18 pm:

    For months, I haven’t paid attention to Blago. I just read his self-serving statements on Kelley

    No shame.


  87. - No rumor - Monday, Sep 14, 09 @ 8:44 pm:

    Any idea about what might have caused the 1/2 inch wound found during the autopsy to the back of Chris’s head? The accounts I read on this matter did not state how deep the wound appeared; only that the injury to the back of his head was 1/2 of an inch.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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