Blagojevich Indicted

Big surprise … not. Rod Blagojevich indicted for corruption, including trying to sell the Senate seat.

Here is the indictment.

In addition to Blago and Harris (who were arrested in December), RobBlago, Lon Monk, Christopher Kelly, and William Cellini were indicted. I’m looking for the document now, will update later. 

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, his brother Rob and Christopher Kelly, a former top fundraiser for Blagojevich, were all indicted today on corruption charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago announced.

Also charged in the indictment were Lon Monk, a lobbyist and former Blagojevich chief of staff; John Harris, also a former chief of staff to Blagojevich; and William Cellini, a Springfield insider for decades.

From the press release:

Since 2002, even before he was first elected governor that November, and continuing until he was arrested on Dec. 9, 2008, former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and a circle of his closest aides and advisors allegedly engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive the people of Illinois of honest government, according to a 19-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. Blagojevich, 52, of Chicago, was charged with 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal agents. He allegedly used his office in numerous matters involving state appointments, business, legislation and pension fund investments to seek or obtain such financial benefits as money, campaign contributions, and employment for himself and others, in exchange for official actions, including trying to leverage his authority to appoint a United States Senator, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Also charged as co-defendants in the same indictment are:

John Harris, 47, of Chicago, Blagojevich’s chief of staff from late 2005 until last December after he was arrested along with Blagojevich. Through his attorney, Harris, disclose that he has agreed to cooperate with the United States Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this case;

Alonzo Monk, 50, of Park Ridge, a lobbyist doing business as AM3 Consulting, Ltd., and a long-time Blagojevich associate who served as his general counsel when Blagojevich represented Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District, and later managed his 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial campaigns, was his first gubernatorial chief of staff from 2003 through 2005, and later chairman of his campaign fund;

Robert Blagojevich, 53, of Nashville, Tenn., Blagojevich’s brother, who became chairman of his campaign fund in August 2008;

Christopher Kelly, 50, of Burr Ridge, a businessman and a principal campaign fundraiser who also served as chairman of Blagojevich’s campaign fund from early 2004 until August 2005. The indictment alleges that with Blagojevich’s knowledge and permission, Kelly at times exercised substantial influence over certain activities of the governor’s office; and

William F. Cellini, Sr., 74, of Springfield, a businessman who also raised significant funds for Blagojevich, in part through his role as the executive director of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association. Cellini had longstanding relationships and influence with trustees and staff members of the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS), and he was associated with Commonwealth Realty Advisors, a real estate asset management firm that invested hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of TRS, the indictment alleges.

64 replies
      • nextstopchicago says:

        I found the capfax stuff before you edited to link to the documents.

        Anyway, Patty is not only mentioned in reference to finding her employment. She’s also mentioned as direct beneficiary of Rezko, who directed two large real estate commissions and a $12K/month salary to her.

  1. emptywheel says:

    Some unnamed COngressmen in here.

    withhold a state grant to benefit a publicly-supported school
    until a campaign fundraiser for ROD BLAGOJEVICH was held by a United States Congressman who supported the school, or by a relative of that United
    States Congressman;

  2. emptywheel says:

    This is interesting given that Patti eventually got employment through … BUrris’ partner.

    It was further part of the scheme that after the real estate business of defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife became the subject of critical media coverage, ROD BLAGOJEVICH directed defendant HARRIS to try to find a paid state board appointment or position for her. During several conversations in or about early 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH informed HARRIS that ROD BLAGOJEVICH wanted his wife put on the Pollution Control Board, which pays salaries to its board members. When HARRIS told ROD BLAGOJEVICH that his wife was not qualified for the position, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told HARRIS to find other employment for his wife.

        • emptywheel says:

          Note, JJJ is identified as Senate Candidate A, so it would be cheating to also call him Congressman A.

          Which leaves DAnny Davis and Rahmbo, among others.

          • scribe says:

            I am of two minds whether I want it to be Rahm or not.

            On the one hand, he’s a craptastic corporatocrat.

            OTOH, he seems to be keeping the WH itself in line, though it’s his line.

            Still, the corporatocrats would not be in the ascendancy in the WH if Obama didn’t want it that way, so … Rahm’s just carrying out orders.

            But he’s still pretty craptacular.

  3. emptywheel says:

    I’m sorry, I forgot this, continuing from above.

    It was further part of the scheme that, in or about the spring of
    2008, around the time that defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife passed a
    licensing examination that allowed her to sell financial securities, ROD
    BLAGOJEVICH asked defendant HARRIS and others to set up informational or networking meetings for his wife with financial institutions that had business with the State of Illinois in hopes that those businesses would assist in getting ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife a job. HARRIS subsequently arranged meetings between ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife and officials at two financial institutions that had business with the State of Illinois. When ROD BLAGOJEVICH concluded that officials at these institutions were unhelpful in finding ROD BLAGOJEVICH’s wife a job, ROD BLAGOJEVICH told HARRIS that he did not want the institutions receiving further business from the State of Illinois.

    I guess Burris was considered “helpful” in finding Patti not-so-gainful employ.

    • MadDog says:

      You know, the thing that is so pathetic about this is what a miserable failure Blago was at all this.

      This kind of mirrors what I had thought about Illinois being the most corrupt state.

      Twasn’t true.

      My thought is that there are far more corrupt states, and that Illinois just didn’t do it all that well in comparision.

      • prostratedragon says:

        Making a ranking assessment from Springfield events, Blago being from the city notwithstanding, is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope.

  4. KayInMaine says:

    Well, at least Ted Stevens is free! Phew. That was close. It would have been awful to have a Democrat and a republican going to jail over corruption. LOL

    • bmaz says:

      Ted Stevens should be free; that was a supremely abusive prosecution with misconduct so repeated and egregious that it is clearly criminal on several fronts.

      • scribe says:

        I remain convinced that screwing up Stevens’ prosecution was no accident. He had been on Senate Appropriations and was quite useful to Deadeye and Bushie in getting funds included for things like … warrantless wiretapping.

        I can see them deliberately screwing the pooch on the prosecution; his corruption was so manifest he had to be prosecuted. Given the way they dealt with Seligman (or the Mississippi Supreme Court – where one of Rover’s judicial proteges had to recuse herself from the appeal, per RawStory), I have little doubt the f’d-up handling of the Stevens prosecution was no accident.

        • bmaz says:

          I don’t think so, it doesn’t have that feel to me at all. I see it as an undisciplined, uncontrolled and incompetent DOJ, especially PIN, run amok. 99% of the time acts like this occur, it is because of of bad prosecutors, and their law enforcement agents, doing anything and everything to make their case and do it the lazy easy way. If the idea were really to tank it, I think they would have not kept eating themselves into the hole of criminal conduct in doing so and would have pulled the charges, or not fought so hard and let Emmet Sullivan dismiss pre-trial. I think the chances that this was a tank job start to finish just doesn’t fit the facts that I see.

      • KayInMaine says:

        You’re most likely right, but right now the republicans in Alaska are trying to unseat Mark Begich now. Sucks.…..-election/

        Someone here at FDL made the comment yesterday that the Bush DOJ was purposely doing illegal things knowing full well that Obama’s DOJ would throw the case out. Could be. I don’t know. Let’s not forget Stevens did get lots of gifts from this oil company who was receiving Federal money in return. As Rachel Maddow pointed out, that is the definition of corruption:…..5#30002695

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, he’s corrupt alright, no question. But, you know, to Stevens as a defendant, it doesn’t really matter why the malicious prosecution happened, only that it did. It kind of sucks, but the rule of law and due process is more important than Stevens or any other single defendant.

  5. scribe says:

    Tony Rezko is all over this indictment.

    One of the outward acts in the RICO conspiracy is “appointment of a US Senator”

    another part is Mrs. Blagojevic working for Rezko’s real estate business

    another part ofthe conspiracy

    11. It was further part of the conspiracy that after it became public that
    defendant KELLY and Rezko were under law enforcement scrutiny and they
    ceased to play significant roles in raising funds for Friends of Blagojevich,
    defendant ROD BLAGOJEVICH continued to exchange and attempt to exchange
    his official actions as Governor for personal benefits to ROD BLAGOJEVICH
    and members of his family, and contributions to Friends of Blagojevich. At
    times, ROD BLAGOJEVICH acted with the assistance of others, including
    Monk, Harris, and Robert Blagojevich. These efforts included, but were not
    limited to, attempts to:

    f. obtain personal financial benefits for ROD BLAGOJEVICH in return for his appointment of a United States Senator to fill the seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

    No punch pulled, there.

  6. ShotoJamf says:

    This is gonna really screw up his shot at the Big Time in radio.

    Wife, etal are next, right?

  7. nextstopchicago says:

    I don’t see how Congressman A is Davis. I’m not aware of a Davis brother who holds fundraisers. Still, it seems like there are other congressmen than Rahm who could be implicated there.

    • emptywheel says:

      The fundraising scheme is talked about in context of Obama. They also talk abotu asking Senate Candidate 6 to fundraise for it–I think that’s Schakowsky–in the complaint, but Congressman A would rule out Schakowsky on gender.

      • nextstopchicago says:

        Politico, perhaps following your lead, managed to match the timeline up with a $2 million grant to the Chicago Academy, in Portage Park, part of Rahm’s district, so you’re almost certainly right.

  8. emptywheel says:

    Okay, this is mighty interesting. This appears the day after the calls in DC to Balinoff.

    On or about November 13, 2008, at Chicago, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and elsewhere,
    ROD BLAGOJEVICH, defendant herein, for the purpose of executing the above-described scheme, did knowingly cause to be transmitted by means of wire and radio communication in interstate commerce signals and sounds, namely a phone call between ROD BLAGOJEVICH in Chicago, Illinois, and Advisor B in Michigan (Session 624), in which they discussed presenting to United States Congressman A a proposal by ROD BLAGOJEVICH that a not-for-profit organization be set up and that the connection between setting up this organization and the awarding of the U.S. Senate seat would be ?unsaid”;

    It could be this was one of the senate candidates–Schakowsky or Davis–except that per the complaint, it appeared at a time they were scheming to get Buffet to raise the money for the non profit through Obaam.

  9. dosido says:

    I’m sure G. Gordon Liddy could help him with his radio career.

    Where are the witnesses Blago? Are they waiting in the wings with the GOP federal budget and the unicorns?

  10. ART45 says:


    Blago indicted.

    What a fucking joke.

    A minor pol hauled before the courts.

    Give me a break. Blago is small fish or whatever.

    There are much bigger malefactors.

    Focusing on Blago is a distraction.

    Suggestion: Go after the big guys.

  11. Loo Hoo. says:

    Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS)

    Bet that really pissed off Fitz since his new young wife is a teacher.

  12. ratfood says:

    As an Illinoian, I have concluded it would be better for everyone if our governors’ prison terms ran concurrently with their elected terms.

  13. obsessed says:

    Big tough Pat Fitzgerald – 19 counts plus racketeering for this two-bit thug and all he could get on the most corrupt administration in history was a slap on the wrist for Scooter Libby?

    • bmaz says:

      I actually thought he should have indicted Cheney, and should have delved deeper into missing emails germane to the Plame matter, but without knowledge of the contents of Cheney and Bush’s sealed interviews it is hard to tell. Your statement, however, is grossly unfair and fairly ill-informed; for starters, his jurisdiction was theoretically limited among many other considerations not the subject of this post.

  14. runfastandwin says:

    Unless he cops a plea, I don’t see how this ever results in much. It’s pretty much SOP in every state capitol in America.

  15. obsessed says:

    >He got prison for Libby but Libby had a big fat friend or two.

    He waited until Bush was reelected and then he indicted the designated fall guy.

  16. MadDog says:

    Totally OT – The government filed the following with Judge Hellerstein in the case brought by the ACLU regarding the CIA’s destruction of the torture videotapes:

    ACLU Agrees To Extension Of Torture Memo Deadline Based On DOJ Pledge To Consider Releasing Bybee Memo

    …The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project:

    “We reluctantly consented to this extension based on the government’s representation that within two weeks it will re-review not only the May 2005 Bradbury memos included in today’s deadline but also the August 2002 Bybee memo that was one of the cornerstones of the CIA’s torture program. Collectively, these memos supplied the framework for an interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse, violated domestic and international law, alienated America’s allies and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court…

    Content of the government’s filing:

    Dear Judge Hellerstein:

    We write respectfully to request an additional 20 days, from April 2, 2009 until April 22, 2009, to file the Government’s opposition to plaintiffs’ fourth motion for summary judgment and the Government’s cross-motion. Plaintiffs have informed the Government that they consent to the extension based on the Government’s representation that high-level Government officials will consider for the possible release the three Office of Legal Counsel (”OLC”) memoranda at issue in plaintiffs’ fourth motion for summary judgement, and an August 1, 2002 OLC memorandum that is now on appeal before the Second Circuit. The Government has further represented that any release of information from these documents will take place on or before April 16, 2009, with the Government to file any brief supporting papers four business days later on April 22, 2009, as to any remaining issues for litigation.

    The Court has granted the Government four prior extensions of time for its opposition and cross-motion. We thank the Court for its consideration of this request.


    Lev L. Dassin
    Acting United States Attorney

    • MadDog says:

      And more totally OT – from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers:

      Judiciary Chairman Conyers Publishes Report Documenting Bush Abuses

      Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced the publication of the final version of the Democratic Committee staff report on systematic abuses of presidential power during the Bush administration. The report, titled “Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush,” contains 50 separate recommendations designed to correct the imbalanced separation of power that characterized the George W. Bush presidency. Chief among Conyers’ recommendations include continued congressional investigations like those the Judiciary Committee has pursued concerning Karl Rove’s interactions with the Justice Department, a blue ribbon commission similar to the panel proposed in Chairman Conyers’ H.R. 104, and independent criminal probes to be conducted by federal prosecutors…

      The 541 page report (PDF) is here.

        • MadDog says:

          Ummm…have you actually read the entire 541 pages? No?

          You might try that first and then see if your comment is appropriate.

          It very well may be, but it’s likely too soon to tell, correct?

          • emptywheel says:

            It’s largely based on the earlier version of this (released in January), though has been updated to reflect burrowing and whatnot.

            The last version was strong in some areas, weak in others. Conyers managed to stick a preview of teh 4th amendment spiking OLC opinoin, which I reported on. It is aaluable as a centralized source. And will, over time, be utterly crucial for the sources it brings together in one place.

  17. wagonjak says:

    With all the outrage over Blago, the thing that’s never acknowledged is that this goes on in every state. Every powerful political throne..creates an unending ring of corruption that’s controlled by the people with the most money and power in each state.I ‘m from Arizona. How many people know that John McCain’s whole political future and politics was engineered by Cindy’s dad Jim Hensley, the Arizona Beer Baron and Rack Track Owner, apparently with mob figures behind him?…

    • bmaz says:

      I know the history of McCain quite well, and the “mob” bit is an overhyped rumor pretty much devoid of material evidence, even as to his father in law Jim Hensley. Hensley did bankroll McCain, but his political career was already being planeed out by John Tower and Bill Cohen before he ever came to Arizona. Once in Arizona, McCain was connected with a very good local operative named Jay Smith, they are the people that really “engineered” McCain’s career.

      This is all, of course, not to say that McCain isn’t a total fraudulent horse’s ass; he most certainly is.

  18. MadDog says:

    …And will, over time, be utterly crucial for the sources it brings together in one place.

    Matches my thoughts entirely.

  19. Mary says:

    Good for them, I guess, in being able to craft together the Blagojevich Enterprise for RICOH. It’s hard for me to get real psyched over it, though, when the Cheney Enterprise and Torture Enterprise both ended up being booyah DOJ supported entreprenurial ventures, not criminal enterprises generated charges.

  20. nextstopchicago says:

    All I got to say is Fitz is 1 for 1 in sending Bush officials to prison for their role in the Iraq war and the entire rest of western civilization is 0 for whatever. Some people just want to complain.

  21. tanbark says:

    Pish and tosh. Blago’s little career glitches are as nothing.

    What’s important is that he had the courage and perception to select a statesman of the caliber of Roland Burris to enhance the honor and credibility of the United States Senate. In fact, that act of beneficence alone should qualify him for a presidential pardon.

    Everything else is just chaff.

    And the Senate, itself, comes in for political “medals of honor”. They could have chosen to be spineless jellyfish, by remanding Burris to the rules committee, until the hammer fell on Blago (At which point, Al Sharpton could not have seriously supported him…) but instead they, understanding that the rule of law for the judicial and legislative systems would have collapsed, instanter, if the Lincolnesque Burris were not allowed to take his rightful seat, as ordained by the poor, victimized, witch-hunted-from-office, populist governor, chose to do the right thing, and blessed the Senate with the coruscatingly brilliant and unimpeachable honesty of Roland Burris.

    This kind of character brings tears to my eyes; thank God for the bloggers who (along with the republican asshats) themselves, courageously flacked for seating Burris.

    It makes one proud to be an amurkan.

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