Blagojevich trial evidence released, April 14, 2010
Here are some exerpts from the GOVERNMENT’S EVIDENTIARY PROFFER SUPPORTING THE ADMISSIBILITY OF CO-CONSPIRATOR STATEMENTS, released by Judge James B Zagel today, Wednesday, April 14, 2010.
“A. Efforts To Obtain Personal Benefits for Blagojevich and Campaign
Contributions In Exchange For State Action (2002-04)
1. Influence and Actions of Christopher Kelly and Antoin Rezko
Rod Blagojevich was first elected Governor of the State of Illinois in November 2002.
Christopher Kelly and Antoin “Tony” Rezko played important roles in assisting Blagojevich in this
campaign. Kelly was part of Blagojevich’s inner circle during the campaign and was one of the top
fundraisers for Blagojevich. Kelly oversaw most aspects of fundraising for the campaign, including
ensuring that other individuals met their fundraising goals. Rezko was also one of the top
fundraisers for Blagojevich.
After Blagojevich became Governor in January 2003, Kelly and Rezko continued to play
important roles in fundraising for Blagojevich. In 2003 and 2004, Kelly and Rezko had the primary
role in overseeing the efforts to raise money for Blagojevich. They were heavily involved in
organizing the large annual fundraising events that Blagojevich held in the summers of 2003 and
2004. In that time frame, Blagojevich pushed Rezko and Kelly to raise funds in a variety of
Kelly and Rezko also had significant influence over aspects of state government during the transition
period after Blagojevich won office and continuing after Blagojevich took office. Kelly
and Rezko were part of the informal kitchen cabinet that Blagojevich used to make decisions, and
had complete access to Blagojevich and/or Monk (Blagojevich’s Chief of Staff during this period)
to talk about any state issue they wished. Kelly and Rezko used their influence over state affairs.
For example, Rezko and Kelly recommended and/or interviewed many of the people who were
selected to top positions in Blagojevich’s administration and were actively involved in the awarding
of certain state contracts.
Kelly and Rezko also exercised significant influence over the appointments Blagojevich
made to state boards and commissions. Monk was the primary person responsible for overseeing
the selection process for filling boards and commissions vacancies. Kelly and Rezko each
recommended many candidates for various boards and commissions, and Monk gave their
recommendations great weight.
From what Blagojevich said about appointments to boards and commissions, Monk
understood that Blagojevich viewed those appointments as an opportunity to reward big fundraisers
or Blagojevich’s supporters. Blagojevich consistently wanted to know who recommended a
particular candidate for a board or commission slot. When Kelly and Rezko made their
recommendations for people to be on boards and commissions, Monk knew that they were often
rewarding people who had made contributions to Blagojevich or who were going to do so.
Rezko and Kelly demonstrated over time that they had more interest in certain boards than
others and particularly that they were interested in the boards that controlled money, including the
pension boards like the Teachers’ Retirement System, the Illinois State Board of Investment, and
the State University Retirement System. Rezko also had a significant interest in the appointments
to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. Blagojevich gave Kelly and Rezko significant
deference for their picks on those types of boards.”
“Around the time that Levine was reappointed, Rezko told Levine that he expected to control
the Planning Board. Rezko said that he had discussed the makeup of the Planning Board with
Thomas Beck, who was the Chairman of the Planning Board. Before one of the Planning Board
meetings, Beck talked to Levine about how there were five members of the Planning Board who
were Rezko’s people, including Levine and Beck. The other three individuals who would vote as
Rezko wished were Fortune Massuda, Imad Almanaseer, and Michel Malek. Documents and
testimony from individuals in Illinois state government who helped select candidates for boards and
commissions positions, including the Planning Board, confirm that Rezko was the individual
responsible for selecting those five individuals to be appointed to the Planning Board. Since it took
five votes to approve any CON, Rezko’s people effectively controlled what the Planning Board did.
Beck typically indicated to Levine and the other three members of Rezko’s voting bloc the items on
the Planning Board agenda that Rezko cared about and how Rezko wanted them to vote.”