Blagojevich trial update, Alonzo Monk testimony, Blagojevich Monk Kelly Rezko
Today, Wednesday, June 9, 2010, the first day of testimony in the Rod Blagojevich trial, is off to a interesting start.
From the Chicago Tribune.
“Blago pal talks of secret meetings, code names and favors”
“They met in secret and referred to each other as “1,2, 3 and 4.”
Rod Blagojevich, his longtime friend Lon Monk and trusted fundraisers Chris Kelly and Antoin “Tony” Rezko.”
Their agenda: How to exchange state contracts and jobs for campaign cash for Blagojevich.
The plotting started even before Blagojevich was elected governor in 2002, according to Monk, who took the stand today to testify against his pal from college days.
“This was something that we were going to be able to do now that we were close to Rod and he was going to become governor,” Monk said as Blagojevich stared straight at him and shook his head.
“I was intrigued,” Monk added. “And I wanted to make money.”
At one of the secret meetings — at Rezko’s offices in 2003 — the four discussed money-making ideas that involved state action, said Monk, sometimes sighing loudly as he testified.”
“Collecting kickbacks was too risky while Blagojevich was still governor, Monk said. “It would be easier for people to find out we were receiving money.”
Rezko was to hold the funds while Blagojevich was in office, Monk alleged. “Any money found would be held in separate accounts that would be difficult to locate.”
Rezko would often bring up firms and individuals to help with state business or an appointment to a state board, Monk said.
Prosecutor Christopher Niewoehner asked why Rezko would do that.
“So that he could ask them for more money or additional money for donations,” Monk replied.
Asked whether Rezko was trying to give rewards for political contributions, Monk answered yes.
Monk said he also had conversations with Kelly also about helping people get state business or positions.
What would Monk do when Rezko or Kelly asked him for help getting someone appointed or a contract, Niewoehner asked.
“Whatever they asked,” he said.
Monk also recalled being a meeting with Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who was then a congressman. Emanuel was help getting a state grant for the Chicago Academy, Monk said.
Blagojevich had a simple answer. “He’d try and get it done,” Monk recalled as jurors were shown a photo of Emanuel.”