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

Former deputy governor: Blagojevich hid in bathroom from budget director, was in the office 2-8 hours a week

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

During Bob Greenlee's time as deputy governor from June to December 2008, Rod Blagojevich rarely showed up at the governor's office -- he was there just 2-8 hours a week, Greenlee testified.

That meant most of their conversations took place over the phone, with Greenlee in the office and Blago at home or in the car, traveling to an event.

Getting Blagojevich to take action on bills was a challenge, Greenlee said. Often times -- with a bill's 60-day window coming to a close, meaning it would automatically become law without the governor's say-so -- Greenlee would have to track the governor down to review and veto.

He tried to "trap him" at events or in the car -- "where he had nothing else to do," he said.

But on one occasion, getting Blago to look over a stack of 20 pressing bills meant Greenlee had to tag along with the governor and his family when they went to dinner at Chicago's Southport Lanes.

In the courtroom, Rod hears this and smiles.

Occasionally Blagojevich hid from budget director John Filan, who often had bad news for the governor or wanted to discuss tough budgetary matters. In those cases, Blago would hide out in the bathroom at the back of his office, Greenlee testified.

At that, Blago leans back in his chair, grins and adjusts his suit coat.

Working for the governor was clearly a challenge, Greenlee said. Blagojevich had an "in or out" mentality with his staff and advisers.

"To the extent that you were out, he wouldn't want to communicate with you," Greenlee said. "I needed to communicate with him (for my job). I didn't feel I had that luxury."

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 8, 2010 10:17 AM.

Blagojevich trial: Onetime deputy governor takes the stand was the previous entry in this blog.

Former deputy governor: Blagojevich sought my advice on Senate seat is the next entry in this blog.

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