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

John Wyma on road building industry: Governor said "if they didn't perform, f--- them.

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

John Wyma testifies about an Oct. 6, 2008, meeting with Rod Blagojevich in which the governor said he planned to ask a road building executive for $500,000 before approving an Illinois Tollway construction project.

Blagojevich and Wyma had just met in the governor's office with construction magnate Michael Vondra, who wanted help with a business venture that would bring oil giant BP to Illinois. After the meeting, Wyma testified, Blago said he wanted to ask Vondra for a contribution.

"He said he liked Vondra a lot and wanted to get $100,000 from him by the end of the year," Wyma said. That's when new ethics legislation was scheduled to kick in, which would prohibit the governor from accepting cash from people who do business with the state.

Wyma said that was unrealistic, that Vondra had just done a fund-raiser and that $100,000 was too high, he testified.

Then the conversation turned to the tollway project.

"He said that he was going to announce shortly a $1.8 billion tollway plan and he had Lon Monk going out to (road building exec) Gerry Krozel to ask him for half a million dollars," Wyma said.

"And he could have made a larger announcement but he didn't because he wanted to see how folks performed. And if they didn't perform, f--- them."

Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asks Wyma what he thought the governor meant by that.

That if "the folks in that particular trade sector did not raise the amount of money he wanted, he would not announce the expansion," Wyma said.

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on July 13, 2010 12:05 PM.

Former Chief of Staff John Wyma: "I thought it was wrong, obviously wrong." was the previous entry in this blog.

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