Tag Archives: Judge James B Zagel

William Cellini motion, December 4, 2012, Cellini appeal, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

William Cellini motion, December 4, 2012, Cellini appeal, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

“In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.

In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.”…LA Times April 7, 2008

“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells

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

William Cellini, who was convicted of 2 counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe on November 1, 2011,  and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, has a motion hearing today, December 4, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel.

Daily Calendar

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (As of 12/04/12 at 05:47:05 AM)

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         10:15   Notice of Motion

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

From the Chicago Tribune October 19, 2012.

“William Cellini, the once-powerful Springfield fundraiser and lobbyist, asked a federal judge Thursday to allow him to remain free on bond pending his appeal on a public corruption conviction, claiming that a juror who withheld her felony background from the court raises “unprecedented” legal questions.

Cellini was among the last of more than a dozen political insiders to be convicted in the federal Operation Board Games probe that also snared former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

He is scheduled to report to federal prison in January to serve one year and one day for his role in a plot to extort campaign contributions for Blagojevich from a Hollywood producer seeking to retain his lucrative state business.

In a filing to U.S. District Judge James Zagel, Cellini’s lawyers argued that he has a strong case for appeal, highlighting the legal issues raised after the Tribune revealed following the verdict that juror Candy Chiles had withheld disclosure of felony convictions during jury selection.

The questions raised are so “substantial” that Zagel should release Cellini during the appeal, in part because he could complete his prison sentence before a higher court could act on the legal issues, the motion says.

Three weeks after Cellini was convicted, the Tribune reported that Chiles did not disclose a 2000 felony drug conviction and a 2008 felony DUI conviction on a jury form and when Zagel questioned her in the courtroom.

Cellini’s lawyers sought a new trial, arguing that Chiles lied and that if they had known of her felony background they could have tried to remove her from the jury. They also argued that her felony background should have barred her from jury service.

After a contentious hearing in which a defiant Chiles testified, Zagel denied a new trial, saying she had not deliberately lied and that her failure to disclose her criminal background did not taint Cellini’s 2011 trial. Zagel also dismissed the defense argument that she was not eligible to serve as a convicted felon.

But in his filing Thursday, Cellini argued that the legal questions could earn a reversal from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

“The Court’s decision turned on numerous difficult, hotly contested legal and factual questions that were very close and could be decided the other way — and there is no doubt that if Cellini prevails on that issue on appeal, he will be entitled to a new trial,” Cellini’s lawyers wrote.

Federal prosecutors had no comment Thursday on the request.”

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-19/news/ct-met-cellini-release-appeal-20121019_1_william-cellini-candy-chiles-convictions-during-jury-selection

From Citizen Wells January 5, 2012.

“Following Obama’s efforts, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage, and added hundreds of millions more over the next few years.”

“Three other minority-run firms — Holland Capital, Loop Capital and Capri Capital Partners — also saw hundreds of millions of assets turned over to them to manage after meeting with Obama and the state pension boards.”

“Capri Capital is a little more interesting.

From the William Cellini Indictment Press Release:”
“Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.”

“March 6, 2008″

“Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton talks about how Highland Park businessman
Stuart Levine is central to the government case “

“She also explains how William Cellini, a powerful Republican power
broker, was also allegedly central to many of the alleged kickback
schemes at the Teacher’s Retirement System.
Hamilton finished remarks after an hour. She did not mention the name
of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose U.S. Senate
campaign in 2004 allegedly was the beneficiary of $20,000 in campaign
cash from intermediaries in the kickback schemes the government says
were orchestrated by Rezko.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/january-6-2012-obama-corruption-ties-william-cellini-hearing-judge-james-zagel-media-and-justice-department-protect-obama/

William Cellini sentencing October 4, 2012, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

William Cellini  sentencing October 4, 2012, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells

“The citizens of Illinois deserve public officials who act solely in the public’s interest, without putting a price tag on government appointments, contracts and decisions.”…Patrick Fitzgerald

***  Update 5:50 PM EST  ***

William Cellini has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

William Cellini, who was convicted of 2 counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe on November 1, 2011,  will be sentenced today, October 4, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel.

Daily Calendar

Thursday, October 4, 2012 (As of 10/04/12 at 03:48:03 PM )

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         02:30   Sentencing

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

From Citizen Wells January 5, 2012.

“Following Obama’s efforts, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage, and added hundreds of millions more over the next few years.”

“Three other minority-run firms — Holland Capital, Loop Capital and Capri Capital Partners — also saw hundreds of millions of assets turned over to them to manage after meeting with Obama and the state pension boards.”

“Capri Capital is a little more interesting.

From the William Cellini Indictment Press Release:”
“Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.”

“March 6, 2008″

“Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton talks about how Highland Park businessman
Stuart Levine is central to the government case “

“She also explains how William Cellini, a powerful Republican power
broker, was also allegedly central to many of the alleged kickback
schemes at the Teacher’s Retirement System.
Hamilton finished remarks after an hour. She did not mention the name
of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose U.S. Senate
campaign in 2004 allegedly was the beneficiary of $20,000 in campaign
cash from intermediaries in the kickback schemes the government says
were orchestrated by Rezko.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/january-6-2012-obama-corruption-ties-william-cellini-hearing-judge-james-zagel-media-and-justice-department-protect-obama/

William Cellini motion for sentencing delay July 18, 2012, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

William Cellini motion for sentencing delay July 18, 2012, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks

“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells

“The citizens of Illinois deserve public officials who act solely in the public’s interest, without putting a price tag on government appointments, contracts and decisions.”…Patrick Fitzgerald

“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren

William Cellini, who was convicted of 2 counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe on November 1, 2011,  will request a sentencing delay today, July 18, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel. Cellini recently suffered a heart attack.

Daily Calendar

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 (As of 07/18/12 at 08:47:10 AM)

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         10:15   Notice of Motion

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

From Citizen Wells January 5, 2012.

“Following Obama’s efforts, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage, and added hundreds of millions more over the next few years.”

“Three other minority-run firms — Holland Capital, Loop Capital and Capri Capital Partners — also saw hundreds of millions of assets turned over to them to manage after meeting with Obama and the state pension boards.”

“Capri Capital is a little more interesting.

From the William Cellini Indictment Press Release:”
“Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.”

“March 6, 2008”

“Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton talks about how Highland Park businessman
Stuart Levine is central to the government case “

“She also explains how William Cellini, a powerful Republican power
broker, was also allegedly central to many of the alleged kickback
schemes at the Teacher’s Retirement System.
Hamilton finished remarks after an hour. She did not mention the name
of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose U.S. Senate
campaign in 2004 allegedly was the beneficiary of $20,000 in campaign
cash from intermediaries in the kickback schemes the government says
were orchestrated by Rezko.”

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/january-6-2012-obama-corruption-ties-william-cellini-hearing-judge-james-zagel-media-and-justice-department-protect-obama/

 

USA V Blagojevich Cellini Harris Kelly Monk, December 1, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, 10:15 AM, Courtroom 2503 (JBZ), Notice of Motion

USA V Blagojevich Cellini Harris Kelly Monk, December 1, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, 10:15 AM, Courtroom 2503 (JBZ), Notice of Motion 

“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

“Why has the Blagojevich defense team been denied access to the government wiretaps?”…Citizen Wells

I noticed the following Notice of Motion for today, Thursday, December 1, 2011, in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel.

Daily Calendar

Thursday, December 1, 2011  (As of 12/01/11 at 06:47:08 AM 

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Blagojevich                     10:15   Notice of Motion           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         10:15   Notice of Motion           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Harris                          10:15   Notice of Motion           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Kelly                           10:15   Notice of Motion           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Monk                          10:15   Notice of Motion

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

The Chicago Tribune reports the following December 1, 2011.

“Prosecutors seek 15-20 years for Blagojevich, his lawyers seek compassion”

“Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich asked a federal judge to impose “a compassionate and proportionate sentence” on the former governor, in sharp contrast to the 15- to 20-year prison sentence sought by prosecutors earlier in the day.

“…Despite a strong and seemingly defiant exterior, no one is more acutely aware of the tragedy that has become of his life’s work and aspirations as is Mr. Blagojevich himself,” the defense said in its 69-page filing Wednesday evening.

Blagojevich’s lawyers continued to maintain his innocence despite the verdicts of two separate juries and argued that Blagojevich shouldn’t be hit with a lengthy prison sentence because the prosecution and publicity has already resulted in his “personal ruination, public scorn and criminal conviction.”

Without elaborating, the filing said the three years since Blagojevich’s arrest have “taken a toll” on his mental and physical health and resulted in “anxiety, stress and uncertainty” for his two daughters.

The lawyers referred to Blagojevich’s media offensive, saying it was a response “for good or for bad” to press coverage, and said that his and wife Patti’s reality show appearances weren’t intended to garner public support but rather to make money to support their daughters.

”His family is close to bankruptcy,” the defense wrote. “He has suffered every kind of public ridicule and humiliation imaginable – to the point that foreign tourists can often be found posing for photos on the outside staircase to his family home.”

But in their 21-page filing, prosecutors say Blagojevich merits much harsher punishment because he “repeatedly committed serious criminal acts that have done enormous damage to public confidence in Illinois government. He has refused to accept any responsibility for his criminal conduct and, rather, has repeatedly obstructed justice and taken action to further erode respect for the law.

“While the government is not unsympathetic to the plight that Blagojevich, like many criminals, has inflicted upon his family through his criminal acts, Blagojevich has nobody to blame but himself for the criminal conduct in which he engaged.”

The sentencing memo highlights some of Blagojevich’s misdeeds, including his attempt to trade an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama for $1.5 million in campaign cash, his shakedown of a CEO of a children’s hospital for $25,000 and his stalling of a bill to help the state horse industry in an effort to earn another $100,000 in campaign contributions.

“Over the course of a relatively brief period of time, 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,” prosecutors said. “But, as the evidence and Blagojevich’s conduct at his trials established, these were not isolated incidents. They were part and parcel of an approach to public office that defendant adopted from the moment he became governor in 2002.”

Prosecutors noted that Blagojevich was elected governor in 2002 on a platform to end “pay-to-play” politics and decried corruption following the conviction in 2006 of his predecessor, Gov. George Ryan.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-prosecutors-want-1520-years-for-blagojevich-20111130,0,4535135.story

Rod Blagojevich sentencing, December 6, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, 10:00 AM, Courtroom 2503 (JBZ), Tapes motion denied, John Wyma Testimony?

Rod Blagojevich sentencing, December 6, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, 10:00 AM, Courtroom 2503 (JBZ), Tapes motion denied, John Wyma Testimony?

“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

“Why has the Blagojevich defense team been denied access to the government wiretaps?”…Citizen Wells

Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, is scheduled for sentencing next Tuesday, December 6, 2011 in the courtroom of Judge James B Zagel.

Daily Calendar

Tuesday, December 6, 2011  (As of 11/29/11 at 05:47:57 AM 

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Blagojevich                     10:00   Sentencing

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

Once again the Blagojevich defense team has been denied access to over 150 wiretaps. Of course this means we have been denied access as well.

From the Chicago Tribune November 28, 2011.

“Judge denies Blagojevich request to hear new tapes”

“The federal judge who will sentence Rod Blagojevich had harsh words for the former Illinois governor’s attorneys as he denied a request Monday to play new federal wiretap tapes in court.

Blagojevich was convicted at two separate trials on 18 corruption counts, including allegations he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Blagojevich will be sentenced next week, and his lawyers last week submitted a list of 180 secret tape recordings the FBI made of the governor and others.

Parts of some recordings were played during his trials, but Blagojevich has long argued that authorities should “play all the tapes.” He says some of the recordings hold evidence demonstrating his innocence.

But Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich’s attorneys hadn’t said what they specifically wanted to prove and what sections of the tapes they wanted to use, echoing complaints made by federal prosecutors.

“What this motion requests is my blind approval of the use of whatever excerpts it decides are relevant to `lack of ill intent’ and admissible … at sentencing,” Zagel said. “That request is denied.””

“The judge scheduled a Friday hearing on another Blagojevich request related to a government witness, John Wyma. Blagojevich’s attorneys are questioning whether Wyma helped the government “in exchange for a government benefit.” Prosecutors denied that allegation at trial.”

Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-ap-us-blagojevichtrial-,0,1987167.story

From the Chicago SunTimes November 28, 2011.

“Blago’s lawyers want hearing based on new John Wyma information”

“Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers are asking for a special hearing to discuss what they say is new information regarding a key witness at the former governor’s trial.

They are asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel for an evidentiary hearing regarding the testimony of onetime Blagojevich friend and lobbyist John Wyma, arguing they weren’t allowed to properly cross examine him at trial. It was Wyma’s cooperation in 2008 that led to FBI wiretaps against the now-convicted ex-governor.

In a weekend filing, lawyers questioned whether the government properly vetted information against Wyma that was provided by a cooperating Tony Rezko. Rezko, a onetime fund-raiser to Blagojevich convicted on 16 counts of corruption, was sentenced to 10 ½ years last week.

In filings regarding Rezko’s sentencing, Wyma’s cooperation with the government is discussed, including that Rezko told prosecutors that he tried to extract a campaign contribution through Wyma from Provena Health, whom Wyma represented as a lobbyist at the time.

Lawyers question whether bribery was involved when Provena was granted a certificate of need from an Illinois hospital board. Rezko told prosecutors in private sessions that Provena had a dispute with someone on the hospital board and resolved it by paying the board member, according to the Blagojevich defense filing. Prosecutors say the charge was unsubstantiated.

“Blagojevich did not have any knowledge about and was absolutely unaware of the Provena activities of Rezko and Wyma,” the filing says.

It says after Rezko gave the information to prosecutors, Wyma was hit with a subpoena.

“Shortly after Wyma received this grand jury subpoena, he agreed to be, and became, an informant for the government. This allowed the government to obtain a wiretap on Blagojevich’s telephones,” lawyers wrote.

After the taps were secured, Blagojevich’s lawyers said, prosecutors deemed Rezko’s information “not substantiated.”

“If the incriminating evidence against Wyma was not substantiated because it was not investigated, the government’s statement is misleading,” defense lawyers wrote.

Provena officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Blagojevich’s lawyer, Shelly Sorosky, said the new information was based on filings before Rezko’s sentencing, where both sides agree Rezko’s cooperation led the government to Wyma.”

Read more:
http://www.suntimes.com/9114418-417/blagos-lawyers-want-hearing-based-on-new-john-wyma-information.html

William Cellini trial, Status hearing, September 28, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel

William Cellini trial, Status hearing, September 28, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel

A status hearing for the William Cellini trial is scheduled for today, Wednesday, September 28, 2011, in the court of Judge James B. Zagel.

Daily Calendar

Wednesday, September 28, 2011  (As of 09/28/11 at 06:46:38 AM 
Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)         

           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         12:00   Status Hearing             

 
http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm

William Cellini trial pre trial hearing September 23, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, Courtroom 2503, Notice of motion

William Cellini trial pre trial hearing September 23, 2011, Judge James B. Zagel, Courtroom 2503, Notice of motion

From the State Journal Register September 23, 2011.

“A federal judge is scheduled to rule on several pre-trial motions in the case of a one-time fundraiser for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Friday’s status hearing in Chicago comes two weeks before William Cellini’s trial is set to start on Oct. 3.

His is the last major trial linked to Blagojevich’s disgraced administration.

A jury convicted Blagojevich of multiple corruption charges earlier this year. The same judge overseeing Cellini’s case, James Zagel, is scheduled to sentence Blagojevich on Oct. 6.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, Zagel could delay either Cellini’s trial or Blagojevich’s sentencing.”

Read more:

http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x438808496/Pre-trial-hearing-scheduled-today-for-Cellini

Daily Calendar  

Friday, September 23, 2011  (As of 09/23/11 at 09:46:46 AM 

Honorable James B. Zagel                    Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)         

1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         11:00   Notice of Motion           
1:08-cr-00888   USA v. Cellini                         11:00   Status Hearing

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/DailyCal/0.htm#Zagel

Blagojevich trial evidence released, April 14, 2010, Judge James B Zagel, CoSchemers statements, EVIDENTIARY PROFFER

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
conversations.
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.”

Read more:

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