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

Hospital CEO: I finally got money for sick kids. Six days later I was hit up for cash.

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Reporting with Sarah Ostman

Children's Memorial Hospital CEO Patrick Magoon said after dealing with Rod and Robert Blagojevich:

"I felt threatened, I felt at risk and I felt a little angry," he said. "I felt the commitment could be rescinded."

Magoon testified that Rod Blagojevich, who had the sole power to give Children's Memorial Hospital more money, called him Oct. 17, 2008, to say the state would give his hospital $10 million to help pay for pediatric doctors.

But then he told Magoon not to say anything public until after Jan. 1, 2009. That's when new ethics legislation would be in effect barring people who do business with the state from giving campaign donations.

Six days or so after the October phone call, Magoon got a call from Robert Blagojevich asking for $25,000 contribution for his brother.

"To receive a call within five or six days from his brother ... caused me great concern," Magoon said. "But what caused me the greatest concern was that the governor had the sole power," to release the money that would help pay for pediatric doctors who treat children at the hospital.

Magoon said he called the hospital lawyer and he instructed his staff to record every phone call with the Blagojeviches thereafter.

Magoon said as of Dec. 9 -- the day of the ex-governor's arrest -- he thought he would get the funding.

"Every day that went by was a concern that it would not occur," Magoon said.

Rod Blagojevich is accused of shaking down Magoon for the contribution in exchange for the funding.

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5 Comments

I find this to be very interesting. The IL Gov has been corrupt long before Rod ever stepped into office. Think about it. How else do you think that all the politicians in this state get their Campaingn Contributions? Of course they all have fund raisers, and the only people invited to those fund raisers are the people with the large contribution that was always previously negotiated in return for Gov. services. The problem with Blago is that he was not willing to share his contributions with the "Madigans" or other IL political figures so they got jealous and sparked an investigation against him. Blago did nothing wrong, all the others before him and currently in office are the ones who screwed up. Blago's trial is just going to open a can of conspiracy worms... Every IL state Gov. official is corrupt, they just don't get caught. I'll bet every polititian in IL is also involved in some form of tax evasion and they wonder why the state is broke. This state is run by a team of very pathetic individuals,.

I love the headlines "I finally got money for sick kids". Boy are these guys prepared by the prosecution. This is coming from a CEO that makes $900K/year, a member of the Illinois Hospital Association PAC that had donated $500K to Blagojevich, hired and fired Wyma who made as much as $1M/year as a lobbyist per his testimony and had "great concern" that he was hit up for a $25K contribution. Give me a break....

didn't you hear the old testimony they all of the past governors(former gov edgar told someone it was a good idea to get involved with fundraising-someone who did state business) have asked people who did state business for campaign contributions, none including Rod or at least that they have played so far has said they were required but they might discussed it around the same time as some legislation or something else was going on. Obliviously that is an unpopular thing to do, and questionably unethical, but it doesn't make sense to me to claim that it is illegal all the sudden after being legal for all those years under Edgar and probably Thomson and other Republicans. Just asking someone who had state business wasn't illegal- there is a reason they had to pass a state law with what the government is trying to argue I am puzzled as to why we needed the law at all if its apparently been illegal all this time, but all of these lawyer(I don't know if Thompson participated in this sort of thing but there was testimony about Edgar and he definitely had a lot of lawyers that believed it was legal and Im sure the other governors some of whom are well respected lawyers or professional would agree-Im leaving ryan out of it because he is a special case with selling licenses to people who didn't belong on the road)
And with regard to him saying f them he said that to his respected aides and there was no retribution for them when he said things like that about them. The point is the case has to be proven by the government, just because he asks if something can be held up doesn't mean he intends to hold it up(its called getting the facts). I'm a stickler for the facts and when someones guilty of crimes that hurt other people I believe in harsh punishment, but my problem with the case is that note of the fact the governments alleging are clear they all seem to require inferences into what Rod was thinking, what he really meant. Its established that rods not the brightest guy, Im not really sure how the government can claim came up with a scheme where he never said anything(ever not even to come up with a code, at least not in the govts case) to tell people to do things hes accused of conspiring to do.

" he instructed his staff to record every phone call with the Blagojeviches thereafter." This is illegal without the permission of the other side -- and a lawyer old the CEO to do this? Curious if Mr. Magoon tried to get a kick up for all pediatric physicians, or just those employed at his hospital. You can't even get one in my town -- they don't take medicaid any longer because of the low reimbursement.

I really think Blago is mentally ill. No one could be this sleazy.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on July 13, 2010 4:41 PM.

Prosecution calls its last witness in Blagojevich case -- hospital CEO was the previous entry in this blog.

Defense: No express quid pro quo with hospital is the next entry in this blog.

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