Reporting with Sarah Ostman
We begin again after the lunch break with a new witness, David Abel, 49, who lives on Chicago's North Side.
Blond, glasses, Abel sits very still on the witness stand. He looks every bit of the part of the number-crunching expert he was employed to be with the state.
He gives such details as "I knocked lightly on the door," when asked what he did first when he joined a ongoing meeting in the governor's office at the Thompson Center, downtown.
Abel talked about the $10 billion pension bond deal the state took part in under Rod Blagojevich.
Former Blagojevich chief of staff Lon Monk, a government witness, testified that Blagojevich, Monk, Tony Rezko and Chris Kelly plotted to split a kickback off that deal.
Monk testified that Kelly pushed Blagojevich to issue all $10 billion in bonds in one day so that the chosen firm Bear Stearns, would get all the business. Monk testified that Rezko struck a deal with Stearns, in which he'd get $500,000 off the deal. Monk testified that money was to be split four ways -- to Blagojevich, Monk, Kelly, and Rezko.
Abel testified that Kelly was in attendance in the meeting.
"Clearly it's the largest that the state has ever done. At that time it was the largest ... done by any municipality in the United States," Abel said.
"I think we have order support for the $10 billion, we have other alternatives if we're not comfortable with the full $10 billion and we could go either way," he said he advised Blagojevich and others in the meeting.
That's different than what we heard from Monk, who said he believed people in the budget office were pushing to sell all $10 billion. That gives the prosecution room to later argue that it was Kelly's alleged corrupt role that made the sale go forward, rather than professionals advocating the move.
John Filan, who headed the office of budget management, later told Abel they'd be issuing all $10 billion in bonds.