Tag Archives: Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

Rod Blagojevich sentencing, Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

Rod Blagojevich sentencing, Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board

“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

From John Kass and the Chicago tribune December 1, 2011.

“Don’t let Blago’s sentencing distract you from other political theatrics”

“Former Gov. Dead Meat is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday, as Illinois taxpayers watch another corrupt governor head to prison.

Rod Blagojevich has been convicted on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat. In a court filing on Wednesday, federal prosecutors asked that Dead Meat sit in federal stir for the next 15 to 20 years.
 
During his machinations surrounding the appointment of a United States senator, and the shakedowns of hospital and racetrack executives, the defendant revealed his corrupt, criminal character,” federal prosecutors said in their court filing.

But this is still Illinois, where politics is often about distraction. So with our second consecutive governor doing the long goodbye in federal court, try to keep your eye on the shell with the pea inside.

The deadline for petitions of candidacy for judges and legislators is 5 p.m. Monday. So let’s not forget all those who get the petitions signed, all those patronage and union workers, precinct captains, guys who owe guys for favors, and just plain decent citizens who care about goodness and honesty in government.

Before it’s over, Dead Meat’s nemesis, House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Lisa’s Daddy, will certainly exert his influence here. The Lord of Madiganistan doesn’t want you to look too closely, but he always has something to say about who gets to wear the black robes. He’s chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, and those boys still decide who wields the gavel from the county level to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Then on Tuesday, as the Blagojevich hearing begins, more unrelated theatrics are scheduled at City Hall. City Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, the airports czarina, has been invited to appear before the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Aviation.”

“Then on Wednesday, as Blago is likely to be standing before U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel to plead for mercy, there will be yet another important hearing in another government building.

This time, it’s a state panel, a meeting of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which OKs new hospital construction.

And here’s the irony. The state board is scheduled to consider a proposal by a Wisconsin hospital group — Mercy Health System — to build a medical facility in Crystal Lake. (Mercy Health System is not affiliated with Mercy Hospital and Medical Center of Chicago.)

In 2003, Mercy Health System sought the state board’s approval on a similar project.

As federal testimony in a number of cases has explained, there was much behind-the-scenes intrigue. FBI agents got involved and by the time they were done, the federal Operation Board Games probe had exposed Republican and Democratic corruption throughout state government and led to Blagojevich’s indictment.

The feds brought down Stuart Levine, a member of the state hospital board, who pleaded guilty to extortion, bribery and money laundering. Levine rolled over and testified against others, including the recently convicted Republican boss, William Cellini.

In April of 2003, Mercy Health System hired a Levine confederate, Jacob Kiferbaum, of Kiferbaum Construction, to build the hospital. Levine testified that he thought he’d get his kickback from Kiferbaum. The state hospital panel controlled by Levine gave Mercy Health System the go-ahead for the Crystal Lake project.

Soon the feds were all over it. In 2005, a judge overturned the state board’s ruling. Kiferbaum pleaded guilty to attempted extortion in an unrelated hospital shakedown.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-1201-20111201,0,286190.column

Mercy Health System haunts Obama and Blagojevich, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, Board rigged, Obama guilty

Mercy Health System haunts Obama and Blagojevich, Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, Board rigged, Obama guilty

“Why has Obama, for over 2 years, employed numerous private and government attorneys to avoid presenting a legitimate birth certificate and college records?”…Citizen Wells and millions of concerned Americans

Obamaaaaa………Obamaaaaa.

We are still in the midst of the Twelve Days of Christmas and the ghost of Christmas past is haunting Obama. Mercy Health System and the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

From the Chicago Tribune, Trib Local Crystal Lake January 3, 2011.

“Mercy Health System wants to build a 128-bed hospital in Crystal Lake, less than 10 miles from where a similar-sized facility has been proposed in Huntley, raising the question of how many beds are needed in McHenry County.

The Mercy application, filed last week, resurrects a less ambitious plan of more than five years ago that became ensnared in an investigation of the state hospital board. The certificate of need for that hospital, proposed for the same location as the latest one — Route 31 and Three Oaks Road — was approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board but overturned by a judge.”

“Mercy’s original proposal for 70 beds was shot down by the state board in 2003. Mercy tried again in April 2004 and was awarded a certificate of need as board members became the target of a federal corruption investigation.

A few months later, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and state lawmakers revamped the board. The Tribune reported in June 2005 that then-board Vice Chairman Stuart Levine planned to split a $1.5 million kickback with former Blagojevich fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko from contractor Jacob Kiferbaum, who was to build the hospital.”

Read more:

http://triblocal.com/crystal-lake/2011/01/03/mercy-joins-sprint-for-hospital/

This is important and links Obama, who was chairman of the IL Senate committee that changed the number of board members from 15 to 9, to the board rigging.

“Rod Blagojevich and state lawmakers revamped the board.”

The rest of the story from Citizen Wells April 23, 2010.

“From the Blagojevich trial proffer recently released by judge James Zagel.

“Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Kickback
The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (the “Planning Board”) is a commission of the State of Illinois, established by statute, whose members are appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois. During the relevant time period, the Planning Board consisted of nine individuals. State
law required an entity seeking to build a hospital, medical office building, or other medical facility in Illinois to obtain a permit, known as a “Certificate of Need” (“CON”), from the Planning Board prior to beginning construction.

Rezko was able to obtain significant influence over the affairs of the Planning Board by arranging for Blagojevich to appoint five of Rezko’s associates and/or friends, including Levine, as members of the Planning Board in 2003. Rezko and Levine subsequently agreed to use their influence over the Planning Board to obtain a kickback of at least $1 million from a contractor, Jacob Kiferbaum, who wanted the Planning Board to award Mercy Hospital a CON to build a new
hospital. Rezko and Levine were able to arrange for Mercy Hospital to receive its CON at the April 2004 Planning Board meeting, but their scheme was interrupted by the FBI before any kickback was paid

Control over the Planning Board

Levine was on the Planning Board when Blagojevich became governor, but his term was due to expire in 2003. Levine sent a message to the Blagojevich administration through Cellini that he wanted to be re-appointed. Levine later heard from both Kelly and Cellini that he would be reappointed, and Levine was re-appointed to the Planning Board in the Fall of 2003.

After Levine was reappointed, he shared a private plane ride from New York to Chicago with Blagojevich and Kelly. Levine, Blagojevich, and Kelly were the only passengers on the flight. At the beginning of the flight, Levine thanked Blagojevich for reappointing him to the Planning Board.
Blagojevich responded (in Kelly’s presence) that Levine should only talk with “Tony” [Rezko] or “Chris” [Kelly] about the board, “but you stick with us and you will do very well for yourself.”
Levine understood from Blagojevich’s manner of speaking and words that Blagojevich did not want Levine to talk to Blagojevich directly about anything to do with the boards, but that Levine should talk to Rezko or Kelly. Levine also understood that Blagojevich meant that Levine could make a lot of money working with Blagojevich’s administration. Blagojevich did not seem to expect a
response from Levine, and Kelly then shifted the conversation to something else.

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.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/acrobat/2010-04/53290204.pdf

How is Obama tied to this scheme?

From the Rezko trial.

March 6, 2008

Duffy mentions Levine’s close political ties to the late Mayor Harold Washington, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill), former Gov. Jim Edgar and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago) as examples of how connected Levine was.”

March 10, 2008

“Ziegelmueller asked Hayden about a 2003 e-mail exchange with Lichtenstein, then the governor’s top lawyer, in which Wilhelm made recommendations for the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.
The name of Barack Obama, the Democratic front-runner for the presidential nomination, also appears in the e-mail as a member of a strategic team reviewing hospital board matters with the governor’s staff when he was a state senator. The hospital board was scheduled to be revamped in the summer of 2003.

Obama was then chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. Other legislative leaders, including Madigan, were part of that review panel as well, according to the e-mail.”

March 12, 2008

“Fast forward to July 15, 2003, when Gov. Rod Blagojevich was revamping the hospital board on which Beck held a seat for several years. Beck said he wanted to stay on the panel so he called on Rezko at his North Side office. He came armed with a $1,000 check for Blagojevich’s campaign fund. Beck said he asked Rezko to put in a good word for him and Rezko said he would see what he could do.

A few weeks later, Beck said Rezko called him with the good news that he would be reappointed to the board along with Stuart Levine and another holdover member. Rezko also said three doctor friends of his were going to be put on the revamped panel by Blagojevich, Beck testified.”
“Key to the government case are dozens of recorded wiretap conversations on three phone lines into the home of Stuart Levine, the former member of two state boards whom prosecutors say worked with Antoin “Tony” Rezko to rig decisions of those panels.

FBI Special Agent Daniel Cain, the primary case agent on the investigation into Levine and Rezko, is on the stand now in testimony that is laying the foundation for entering the wiretaps into evidence.

Cain said the investigation, dubbed Operation Board Games by the federal agents, began in December 2003 and was prompted by information gleaned from an informant whom he did not identify. That witness, he said, took part in meetings with two other individuals who were in contact with Levine by phone at his home.

Cain said Levine had three phone lines in his North Shore home. Federal agents recorded conversations on those lines April 8-May 21, 2004. Those dates span the time when Levine, Rezko and others allegedly were working to rig the hospital board vote on a Mercy Health System hospital proposal for Crystal Lake and other kickback schemes prosecutors claim they were engaged in.”

Just as Rod Blagojevich’s involvement in Chicago, IL corruption was revealed during the Tony Rezko trial, Obama’s involvement should be revealed in the Blagojevich trial.

Reported here (and much earlier), April 1, 2010.

“In the media, Obama always made it sound like he rarely saw Rezko, saying they met for breakfast or lunch once or twice a year. However, the FBI mole John Thomas helped investigators “build a record of repeat visits to the old offices of Rezko and former business partner Daniel Mahru’s Rezmar Corp., at 853 N. Elston, by Blagojevich and Obama during 2004 and 2005,“ according to the February 10, 2008 Sun-Times.

During his March 14, 2008 interview, the Times told Obama, Thomas is an FBI mole and he “recently told us that he saw you coming and going from Rezko’s office a lot.”

“And three other sources told us that you and Rezko spoke on the phone daily.””

“The rigging of the IL Health Planning Facilities Board is a major charge in the indictments of Rod Blagojevich, Tony Rezko, Stuart Levine, Robert Weinstein and others tied to Barack Obama.”

“In or about the spring of 2004, REZKO and LEVINE agreed that LEVINE, whose term on the TRS Board was due to expire in May 2004, needed to be reappointed to the TRS Board and that additional TRS Board members needed to be appointed who would cooperate with REZKO and LEVINE.”

“Obama was chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee in January 2003.”
“A review of senate records from January 2003 to August 2003, shows Obama played a major role as chairman of that committee, in pushing through Senate Bill 1332, that led to the “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, making the votes much easier to rig.”
“The bill was filed with the senate secretary on February 20, 2003, and assigned to Human Services Committee for review on February 27. Less than a month later, as chairman, Obama sent word that the bill should be passed on March 13, 2003.”
“On May 31, 2003, the House and Senate passed the bill and the only senator listed in the “yes” votes mentioned in the Board Games indictments is Obama.
Blagojevich made the effective date June 27, 2003, and the co-schemers already had the people lined up to stack the Board and rig the votes with full approval from Obama.”

“So far, Blagojevich, reelected in 2006, is more deeply enmeshed in the scandal than Obama, who’s not been implicated in any wrongdoing.

But all three operated in the murky world of Illinois Democratic politics, where money, family relationships and long business associations provide the invisible glue of the local political world.”
“Using Federal Election Commission and Illinois state records, The Times’ Dan Morain compared donors on the FBI spreadsheet to Obama’s contributors. Guess what.

Sen. Obama received $222,000 during the same 2001-2004 period from Rezko-related Blagojevich donors.”

“At the relevant time period, the Planning Board consisted of nine individuals.”

Read more

Reported here  November 2, 2009.

“Ata made a $5,000 donation to Obama less than a month earlier on June 30, 2003. Ata is also an investor in Riverside Park. Almost without fail, the people identified in the Board Games cases as investors in Riverside Park contributed to Obama’s US senate campaign.”

Read more

Reported here  December 11, 2008.

“In addition, the contributions extorted through the Planning Board scheme were for the intended presidential candidate, Blagojevich. Obama’s US senate war chest was already funded and by the time these kickbacks were paid that campaign would be over.

But Obama did end up with $20,000 from the very first kickback paid in the pension fund scheme set up through the Board of the Teacher’s Retirement System.

Elie Maloof and Joseph Aramanda, the straw donors used to funnel the contributions to Obama, also made $1,000 contributions of their own for his failed run for Congress in 2000, on the same day March 17, 2000.

In addition, Aramanda gave $500 to Obama’s senate campaign on June 30, 2003. In the summer of 2005, Aramanda’s teenage son landed a coveted intern position in Obama’s senate office in Washington.

Obama also received contributions directly from the persons appointed to the pension board for the express purpose of rigging the votes. On June 30, 2003, appointee, Jack Carriglio contributed $1,000.

The other appointee, Anthony Abboud, donated $500 to Obama on June 30, 2003, $250 on March 5, 2004, and $1,000 on June 25, 2004.

Michael Winter, who prosecutors say agreed to serve as a funnel for kickbacks paid through an investment firm in one scheme donated $3,000 to Obama on June 30, 2003.”

Read more

Will the mainstream media, including Fox News, cover the real corruption in Chicago and Illinois that Blagojevich and Obama were enmeshed in? Spread the word via your friends and email contacts. Demand that Fox and anyone who will listen report the facts.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/blagojevich-trial-redacted-motion-segments-obama-and-rezko-obama-subpoena-blagojevic-rezko-levine-obama-corruption-ties/