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

Alleged school shakedown victim: I 'probably' wrote Blagojevich a thank you note

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

After an alleged shakedown victim said he waited for months to receive payments to build an athletic field at a local school, defense attorney Elliott Riebman wanted to know if he wrote Rod Blagojevich a thank you note.

Donald Feinstein, executive director of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, took the stand this morning to testify about a state grant to AUSL allegedly held up by Blagojevich; prosecutors say the ex-governor was trying to leverage fundraising help from then-congressman Rahm Emanuel. The school was in Emanuel's congressional district.

Feinstein testified that the government stalled on giving the school a promised $2 million grant and eventually meted out smaller payments throughout the fall; he said he didn't know what the hold up was. After he got the payments, Riebman asked Feinstein if he wrote Blagojevich a thank you note.

"I'm sure he wrote a thank you note," cut in Zagel. Feinstein said he probably did.

"It'd probably be proper protocol and etiquette to do so," he said.

Next up: Former deputy governor Bradley Tusk, who prosecutors will use to back up the claim that Blagojevich was shaking down Emanuel.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 19, 2011 10:47 AM.

Blagojevich retrial: Day 18. Prosecution to rest, Blagojevich prepping to testify, but will he? was the previous entry in this blog.

Former deputy governor: Blagojevich was shaking down Rahm Emanuel is the next entry in this blog.

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