Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Blagojevich aide lies to then-governor about editorial board firing demand

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

The name of Chicago Tribune Deputy editorial page editor John McCormick comes up in a recorded phone call between then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and chief of staff John Harris.

"I told him that McCormick's in a bad mood," Harris said, referencing recent cuts at the Tribune and a conversation he had with Tribune executive Nils Larsen,

"That's be great," Blagojevich says, thinking McCormick was in line to be fired.

McCormick and the Chicago Tribune's editorial page had written a number of critical editorials about Blagojevich in 2008, seeking his ouster from office.

Harris said he lied to the governor about his conversation with Larsen.

"I told the governor, yes I did single out McCormick as someone to be fired, as someone who was the most biased and unfair," Harris testified.

Was that true? Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked.

"I had singled out McCormick as someone who was biased and unfair," Harris said.

"Had you singled him out to be fired?" Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked.

Harris: "No."

In the call, Blagojevich can again be heard saying he wanted editorial board members fired if the parent company, Tribune Co., wanted state help with the sale of Wrigley Field and the Cubs.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 24, 2010 4:12 PM.

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