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

Blagojevich blames Children's rate increase rollback on deputy governor

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Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Rod Blagojevich is giving a different interpretation of a phone call with his deputy governor, Robert Greenlee, where the two discuss a rate increase for doctors.

In the Nov. 12 call, Blagojevich asks Greenlee about the rate increase, set to take effect January 1.

BLAGOJEVICH: And we have total discretion over it?
GREENLEE: Yep.
BLAGOJEVICH: So we could pull it back if we needed to, budgetary concerns, right?
GREENLEE: We sure could. Yep.
BLAGOJEVICH: Okay, that's good to know.

Greenlee said he took that as an order to halt the rate increase. He testified during the government's case that Blagojevich often gave him vague orders.

But today Blagojevich testifies that he was "absolutely not" ordering Greenlee to halt the increase. He was checking to see if it would be appropriate to call Patrick Magoon to ask for a fundraiser; Friends of Blagojevich was hoping to get $25,000 from a fundraiser they hoped Magoon would host.

"That was important to help me decide" if it would be OK to call Magoon, Blagojevich testifies. He said he didn't want to make Magoon "uncomfortable" by hitting him up for campaign contributions if the increase was still pending and didn't want Magoon to get the wrong idea.

"That's good to know; therefore, I'm not gonna call Patrick Magoon. I'm not gonna call and make him feel uncomfortable with this pediatric rate increase still hovering," Blagojevich testifies. "It was a relief. I didn't want to call him anyway."

Blagojevich said he never really liked making fundraising calls.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on May 31, 2011 3:08 PM.

Blagojevich to judge: 'Great minds think alike' was the previous entry in this blog.

Blagojevich: Finding out friend was spying for government was 'startling and shocking ... frightening and terrifying' is the next entry in this blog.

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