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

Children's Memorial Hospital CEO: Blagojevich ask was "inappropriate," "illegal."

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Reporting with Lark Turner

A different witness is up, but government prosecutors are staying on the same theme: Children's Memorial Hospital.

The hospital's CEO, Patrick Magoon, is now testifying about a pediatric rate increase he sought in the fall of 2008. Prosecutors contend Magoon was shaken down for a campaign contribution after he asked for state help at his institution.

In testimony, Magoon said he reached out to then-Gov. Blagojevich via letter seeking the rate increase and heard nothing back. Blagojevich was in control of the rate increase, which went to doctors who treated Medicaid patients at Children's.

He then asked former Cubs manager Dusty Baker to talk to Blagojevich, a Cubs fan.
That got a response and eventually, Magoon got a call from Blagojevich himself in October of 2008.
Blagojevich told him he'd get the rate increase but he asked him not to make the decision public until after Jan. 1 of the following year.

"Only five days had lapsed," according to Magoon, and he got a second call.
This time it was from Blagojevich's brother, Rob, who also happened to be the head of the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund.

He asked Magoon to kick in $25,000 to his brother's campaign fund. And he asked that it be done before ... Jan. 1st.

"From my perspective, the two were linked and one, in my point of view, was in exchange for another," Magoon told Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner.

Magoon said he told Rob Blagojevich to call him on another line, it was inappropriate conversation at work. But he didn't flag to Rob that he wouldn't contribute.

"That would be tantamount to telling him that his brother were doing something inappropriate or illegal," Magoon said. If he spoke up, Magoon said he feared the rate increase "would not have been approved."

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1 Comment

It puzzles me the government can ask people who are by no means experts on criminal law yet when the defense does the judge goes crazy. They both should be barred from asking such questions and witness should be barred answering unless they have serious legal credentials and then it should be pointed out that's what the court is for.
It is improper for either side to be asking such questions

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 16, 2011 2:23 PM.

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