Reporting with Sarah Ostman
It was Sept. 2008 when Rod Blagojevich summoned Gerry Krozel into his campaign finance office.
Blagojevich told Krozel, executive with Prairie Materials Sales Inc., former head of the Illinois Paving Association and also a representative to road builders, that he would push a $6 billion tollway program as well as a $1.5 billion infrastructure program.
Blagojevich then told Krozel about new ethics legislation that would prohibit top contributors to the governor from getting state work.
"Talk of the tollway and the request for money was very coincidental," testified Krozel, a 70-year-old Wilmette native who is testifying under a grant of immunity.
"How did you feel about defendant Blagojevich's request that you raise money?" asked Prosecutor Christopher Niewoehner.
"I understood that a fundraiser would probably determine the validity of the project," said Krozel. "The monies that I could possibly raise for him would have a bearing on the project."
Krozel said Blagojevich told him he wouldn't publicly announce the paving funding until the following January.
"I think he was waiting to see how much money I could bring in," Krozel said. Krozel said he believed Blagojevich wanted him to hit up those in the construction industry for campaign contributions.
Krozel said he didn't believe Blagojevich because he knew that the Legislature wasn't behind it because they said they had issues with the then-governor.