Monday, December 01, 2008

Criminal Complaint (9): Info From Phone Conversations: Efforts to Obtain Campaign Contributions In Exchange for Official Acts

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(Part 9: criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich and John Harris. It was posted 12-29-08, but has been back-dated to bump it down. Some emphasis has been added.

Mentioned on this page: Individual A, Fundraiser A, Hospital Executive 1, Deputy Governor A, Lobbyist 1, Lobbyist 2, Highway Contractor 1, Contributor 1, Engineering Firm 1, Rezko Trial, Friends of Blagojevich.

_____2. Information Obtained from Intercepted Phone Conversations Concerning Efforts to Obtain Campaign Contributions In Exchange for Official Acts

68. Certain of the intercepted telephone communications relate to ROD BLAGOJEVICH's efforts to illegally obtain campaign contributions in exchange for official action, in violation of his duty of honest services to the State and people of Illinois. The interceptions to date have corroborated the testimony of witnesses in the Rezko Trial who testified that ROD BLAGOJEVICH was involved in obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for official action and directly corroborate the information provided by Individual A that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is engaged in an effort to obtain as many contributions as possible from persons doing business with the State of Illinois before the end of the year. Among these communications are the following:

__________a. On the morning of November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked to Fundraiser A. During the course of the conversation, which principally concerned the status of campaign fundraising efforts, Fundraiser A told ROD BLAGOJEVICH that Fundraiser A had never heard from Hospital Executive 1. Fundraiser A said, "I've left three messages there so I'm gonna quit calling. I feel stupid now." ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked when the most recent call was, and Fundraiser A replied that it was two days ago. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that if "they don't get back to you, then, then, last resort is, I'll call."

__________b. Later on November 12, 2008, at approximately 2:14 p.m., ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke with Deputy Governor A, a Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois. The following exchange began the conversation:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: The pediatric doctors -- the reimbursement. Has that gone out yet, or is that still on hold?"

DEPUTY GOVERNOR A: The rate increase?


DEPUTY GOVERNOR A: It's January 1.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: And we have total discretion over it?


ROD BLAGOJEVICH: We could pull it back if we needed to -- budgetary concerns -- right?

DEPUTY GOVERNOR A: We sure could. Yep.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: Ok. That's good to know.
__________c. On November 12, 2008, at approximately 8:26 p.m., Fundraiser A called ROD BLAGOJEVICH and reported the status of fundraising efforts. During the conversation ROD BLAGOJEVICH instructed Fundraiser A to call Lobbyist 1 the following day and ask Lobbyist 1 what to do about the fact that Hospital Executive 1 is not calling Fundraiser A back and inquire whether it was possible that Individual A had instructed Hospital Executive 1 not to call back (see Paragraph 65). ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked, "what do we do with this guy, [Hospital Executive 1]?"

__________d. On November 13, 2008, at approximately 10:05 a.m., ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Fundraiser A. The discussion concerned the status of fundraising efforts. During this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked about Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A stated that Lobbyist 1 is still working with Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A also advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that he will be meeting Lobbyist 2 to meet with an individual at Weiss Memorial Hospital. ROD BLAGOJEVICH states: "Yeah, now be real careful there. I mean, the FBI went to see [Lobbyist 2]. You understand?" Fundraiser A also said that he had a call into Individual A and that Fundraiser A will talk to Individual A about Hospital Executive 1.

__________e. Also during this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Fundraiser A spoke about efforts to raise funds from two other individuals before the end of the year. Fundraiser A advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that with respect to one of these individuals, Contributor 1, [18] Lobbyist 1 had informed Fundraiser A that Contributor 1 was "good for it" but that Lobbyist 1 was "going to talk with you (ROD BLAGOJEVICH) about some sensitivities legislatively, tonight when he sees you, with regard to timing of all of this." ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked, "Right, before the end of the year though, right?" Fundraiser A responded affirmatively. Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he knows Lobbyist 1 is "down there (Springfield, Illinois)" with Contributor 1 "pushing a bill." In a series of calls since that time, it became clear that the bill Lobbyist 1 is interested in is in the Office of the Governor awaiting ROD BLAGOJEVICH's signature. The bill, which is believed to be a law which involves directing a percentage of casino revenue to the horse racing industry, is expected to be signed as soon as next week. In a call on December 3, Lobbyist 1 advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that Lobbyist 1 had a private conversation with Contributor 1 about the contribution ("commitment") Contributor 1 had not yet made and advised Contributor 1 "look, there is a concern that there is going to be some skittishness if your bill gets signed because of the timeliness of the commitment" and made clear that the contribution "got to be in now." ROD BLAGOJEVICH commented to Lobbyist 1 "good" and "good job." In a call the next day, Lobbyist 1 asked ROD BLAGOJEVICH to call Contributor 1 "just to say hello, I'm working on the timing of this thing, but it's gonna get done." Lobbyist 1 suggested that it is better for ROD BLAGOJEVICH to make the call personally "from a pressure point of view." ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he would call Contributor 1 and indicate that ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted to do an event (fundraiser) downstate "so we can get together and start picking some dates to do a bill signing." Lobbyist 1 assured ROD BLAGOJEVICH that Contributor 1 would be good for the donation because Lobbyist 1 "got in his face."

__________f. With respect to the second individual discussed during the November 13, 2008 call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH and Fundraiser A discussed "60" (believed to be $60,000) that they have "in hand" from a fundraiser held the prior evening by the president of Engineering Firm 1. According to public records maintained by the State of Illinois, Engineering Firm 1 received in excess of $10 million from the State of Illinois during each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008. Shortly after completing this call, at approximately 10:15 a.m. on November 13, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH spoke by telephone with the president of Engineering Firm 1, and told him, "I want to thank you again for your support and friendship and we are going to do everything we can to get that capital bill." Public source information indicates that ROD BLAGOJEVICH is supporting a bill that would provide billions of dollars for infrastructure and would benefit companies like Engineering Firm 1

__________g. On November 14, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked to Fundraiser A. During the conversation Fundraiser A told ROD BLAGOJEVICH that he had spoken with Individual A, and that ROD BLAGOJEVICH needed to call Hospital Executive 1. ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that he would call him.

[Footnote 18] Contributor 1 is listed on the Friends of Blagojevich spreadsheet as someone from whom Friends of Blagojevich was seeking $100,000 in contributions and Lobbyist 1 is listed as one of the contacts for Contributor 1.

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