Reporting with Sarah Ostman
Real estate agent Sean Conlon just testified that Brian Hynes, a lawyer, lobbyist and onetime Tony Rezko business associate, made an unusual request of him.
Hynes wanted to buy two floors from Conlon's property at 1101 W. Lake Street. But after the contracts were already drawn up, Hynes called and asked that a broker be paid.
Conlon, a real estate agent, Irish immigrant and friend of Patrick Daley, Ald. Edward Burke, among others, testified he never dealt with a broker. He dealt only and directly with Hynes.
The chosen broker: Patti Blagojevich and her River Realty.
"He asked that I'd increase the price to take account the broker," Conlon said.
Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton: "Mr. Hynes proposed that?"
Hamilton: "You agreed to that?"
Conlon: "I did, because it had no impact on me."
Conlon increased the prices of two floors of condos. One from $600,000 to $644,000 and another from $700,000 to $720,000.
Prosecutors have alleged that Rezko arranged for the phony brokerage fee from that sale to get diverted to Patti Blagojevich and she then used the money to pay contractors for renovations to the family's home.