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

Blagojevich Case Timeline

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Natasha Korecki and Sarah Ostman Reporting

Fall 2003 -- early 2004: Tony Rezko and Stuart Levine allegedly schemed to split a kickback off a $50 million state pension deal.

Early May 2004: Rezko allegedly used his influence to reappoint Levine to state pension board. Around this time, Rezko served as a fund-raiser on Barack Obama‚s Senate campaign finance committee.

May 2004: FBI visits Stuart Levine at home after hearing criminal activity over a wiretap since April.

June 2004: Sun-Times breaks story involving a shakedown scheme tied to the proposed Edward Hospital and a federal probe into Mercy Crystal Lake Hospital. The Mercy deal is later part of Rezko's indictment.

Jan 2005: Sun-Times reports of a spat between Gov. Blagojevich and his father-in-law, the powerful Ald. Dick Mell (33rd). Mell triggers a probe after charging in a Sun-Times story that Chris Kelly "trades appointments to commissions for checks for $50,000" to the governor's political fund.

March 2005: Governor brags about his "testicular virility" in Mell battle and invites a probe into his administration, saying it is: "Clean as a hound's tooth."

May 2005: Levine indicted in connection with state hospital board business. Feds make clear this is just the beginning.

June 2005: In a controversial purchase, Rezko's wife, Rita, buys vacant lot same day Sen. Barack Obama buys abutting $1.65 million home.

Aug 2005: Levine indicted on Teachers Retirement System board charges.

Oct. 2005: Sun-Times outs Blagojevich as "Public Official A" in a plea deal struck by Chicago attorney Joseph Cari.

Early 2006: Levine secretly cooperates, wears wire.

Sept. 2006: Rezko indicted in two separate cases while overseas.

Sept. 2006: Levine pleads guilty to litany of crimes, working out a 67-month deal. The plea document exposes a dirty underworld involving a Who‚s Who of Illinois political players. Sun-Times identifies the players in a series of articles.

Dec. 2007: Blagojevich aide Chris Kelly indicted on tax charges related to personal gambling debts.

March 2008: Rezko trial begins. Three witnesses testify under oath they talked to governor about campaign donations and access in his administration.

June 2008: Jury returns guilty verdict against Rezko.

Dec. 9, 2008: Federal agents arrest Blagojevich at 6 a.m. at his Ravenswood Manor home.

Dec. 19, 2008: Blagojevich breaks a 10-day silence with a press conference at the Thompson Center, arguing that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. "I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath," he says.

Dec. 30, 2008: Blagojevich names former state comptroller and attorney general Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's U.S. senate seat.

Jan. 9, 2009: The Illinois House of Representatives votes 114-1 to impeach Blagojevich; Rep. Deb Mell, Blagojevich‚s sister-in-law, casts the lone dissenting vote.

Jan. 30, 2009: Blagojevich becomes the first Illinois governor to ever be impeached from office, following a 59-0 Senate vote.

Feb. 14, 2009: Chicago Sun-Times reveals Roland Burris gave inconsistent statements about his appointment and his discussions concerning fund-raising.

April 2, 2009: Rod Blagojevich formally indicted on corruption charges while he's in Disney World, along with five co-defendants: his brother, Rob Blagojevich; former chief of staff, Alonzo "Lon" Monk; his most recent chief of staff, John Harris; chief fund-raiser Christopher G. Kelly, 50; and Springfield powerbroker William F. Cellini.

June 2009: Patti Blagojevich travels to Costa Rica to appear as a contestant on the game show, "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" One of the show's challenges requires her to eat a tarantula.

July 8, 2009: John Harris pleads guilty to wire fraud, making him the first co-defendant to accept a plea deal and agree to testify against Blagojevich.

Sept. 12, 2009: Christopher Kelly commits suicide days before he was set to begin serving an eight-year prison term for tax and mail fraud charges.

October 20, 2009: Alonzo "Lon" Monk pleads guilty to wire fraud.

March 14, 2010: Blagojevich appears alongside Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels and others on "Celebrity Apprentice" with Donald Trump.

April 4, 2010: Blagojevich is "fired" from "Celebrity Apprentice" for a lack of leadership and technology skills.

June 3, 2010: Blagojevich and his brother, Rob, both go to trial.

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This page contains a single entry by Nikki Muehlhausen published on June 14, 2010 8:46 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Dismissed jurors speak out was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich trial: Jurors warned about media exposure is the next entry in this blog.

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