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Naive or co-opted?

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You gotta wonder what the heck Rodger Heaton was thinking when he made these dinner reservations. From Mark Brown:

If I were a gossip columnist, I could give you the entire substance of today’s column in just a sentence, then let the insiders make of it what they will.

It would read something like this:

Seen breaking bread recently in the Grill Room of Springfield’s Sangamo Club were Rodger Heaton, the new U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois, and his dinner companions, Republican power brokers William Cellini and Robert Kjellander. […]

But from the outside looking in, this seems exactly the kind of too-friendly relationship between federal prosecutors and Illinois political figures that caused former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald to insist on going outside the state for his U.S. attorney selections

Go read the whole thing. Meanwhile, Bernie Schoenburg followed up yesterday and got these interesting quotes from Heaton’s spokesperson:

Even PATRICK FITZGERALD, the Chicago U.S. attorney overseeing the TRS probe, was the choice of former U.S. Sen. PETER FITZGERALD, R-Ill., who made no bones about wanting to name someone from out of state, she said.

“It was still political, but it was just a different process,” Paul said.

Whether that dinner would have occurred had the names of Cellini and Kjellander surfaced earlier is another question. Paul said Heaton “would make every effort to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest or any sort of improper meeting.”

posted by Rich Miller
Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 2:04 am


  1. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Comment by Martha Mitchell Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 5:15 am

  2. This blog, and apparently everyone else,seems to accept everything that appears in the media about Cellini and Kjellander as gospel, although all of it comes from the single source named Stuart Levine. Had it ever ocurred to anyone that Mr. Levine has every reason to lie or embellish? Why is he, given his admissions, so worthy of belief without question? Is it because you want to believe his claims about the others? Is it because you have some perverse facination with allegations of scandal? Is it because you are just careless or biased?

    Comment by Observer Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 6:51 am

  3. Jurisimprudence?

    Comment by If it walks like a duck... Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 8:11 am

  4. Undoubtedly Messrs Rdgar and perhaps Thompson told Rodger to break bread. I only hope that Mr. Heaton had an associate at dinner to verify what was going on.

    Now if they then moved onto a joint steam bath, I would be really worried.

    Comment by Truthful James Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 8:57 am

  5. I guess Rodger Heaton is vying to be the next Governor of Illinois running as a Republican. Probably Klleanjer and Cellini promised him the world, and now he is in there pocket.
    Would’nt it be great to see Patrick Fitzgerald indict Rodger Heaton for something related to his probe into his two new best friends!
    Heaton should immediately be removed from his postion and replaced now,ASAP!

    Comment by Black Democrat Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 9:28 am

  6. Once again we are seeing arrogant power players believing they are above ethics. Illinois is tanking and it is crumbs like this that are taking us down.

    Comment by VanillaMan Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 10:53 am

  7. On the Fitz comment-

    Getting Patrick Fitzgerald over here was one of the brighter things that any Illinois politician has done in a long time.

    By the way, if you haven’t yet found it, Patrick Fitzgerald has a blog up (just Google his name, and you’ll find it pretty quick). Gotta love a prosecutor who lists The Ramones, Led Zep, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers as favorite musicians on his blog (laugh).

    Comment by Angie Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 1:32 pm

  8. Regarding super K and Mr C, they have been involved in shenanigans for a long long time. It is not just the Levine twist. But, it should only concern the Republicans at this point.

    Comment by Truthful James Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 2:27 pm

  9. Well let’s see Cellini was a partner in Hurtgen’s failed attempt to get Casino gambling in Wisconsin through with all kinds of backroom deals with former Gov. Tommy Thompson. The company may have been called NII JII Entertainment- a front for Argosy?. Indictments flew int that deal too. When asked why it was that Hurtgen’s wife Catherine got $3million worth of stock options the response ont he stand was for her “Decorating Advice”. Interesting considering they hadn’t even put a spade in the ground.

    And Big Bob K well he only recieved nearly $1 million for doing “nothing” to help Hurtgen land the State $10 billion dollar land deal.

    With Hurtgen’s trial date that keeps getting delayed and delayed I guess they had plenty to talk about at that dinner. Including Hurtgen’s new investment on Counter Surveillance equipment at his home in Wisconsin. Maybe Hurtgen is worried about his old business partners after he rolls over on them?

    Comment by HogsInWisconsin Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 4:58 pm

  10. Did we say “land deal” we should have said “bond deal”. We should leave the “land deals” up to Peter Fox.

    Comment by HogsInWisconsin Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 5:02 pm

  11. steve,
    step away from the trees and be objective. You are sounding like Bill. You know it stinks to high heaven. You look like the schmuck. If the powers at be were not so blood thirsty more folks might use their names. For now you look like an ostrich with its head buried very deep. Blind loyalty is never wise.

    Comment by howard Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 7:57 pm

  12. When it was kejellander and Celini and Durbin and Hastert that wanted Jeromy Margolis as the US Attorney for northern IL, instead of Pat Fitzgerald you better believe it stinks to high heaven for him to allow them to buy him ANYTHING!!!!!!!! If they would have had their way George may still be the Governor.
    He should resign now, how can a man with such bad political skills be trusted?
    This is the issue the GOP has to grab by the throat and bring it to a conclusion

    Comment by RAI Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 10:13 pm

  13. Jeremy Margolis, forgot about him. He did the investigation into licenses for bribes and found nothing, politically connected Altheimer and Grey ex US Attorney hired gun who can whitewash anything. If he was US Attorney, George Ryan would still be governor and no Hired Trucks indictments.

    Comment by Jack R Monday, Nov 27, 06 @ 11:33 pm

  14. Margolis not only did the bribes for licenses cover up but also the report that gambling won’t increase crime or relations to organized crime.

    Comment by Gery Tuesday, Nov 28, 06 @ 9:51 pm

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