Reporting with Lark Turner
Rod Blagojevich's defense lawyers are working to dampen the government's portrayal of a Children's Memorial CEO as a victim.
Judge James Zagel allowed Aaron Goldstein to ask the hospital CEO Patrick Magoon a series of questions outside of the jury's presence. Zagel allowed this to see how the witness would answer, so Zagel could rule on whether the questions were out of bounds for the trial.
Goldstein's first question was on compensation.
"My base salary is north of $600,000," Magoon said. Magoon said he couldn't recall what his additional incentive package totaled that year.
Magoon also testified the hospital paid lobbyists. One of them was John Wyma, who just testified that Children's paid him more than $100,000 a year. The defense wants this in front of the jury to show that it was flush with cash at a time when the hospital was seeking state help to give doctors who treat Medicaid patients more money.
In questioning with Goldstein, Magoon said he personally donated to Blagojevich every year, about $500 to $1,000 a year. He also said he sat on the board of the Illinois Hospital Association. The IHA has a PAC (Magoon is not on the PAC board) and Goldstein asked whether the PAC donated more than $100,000 to Blagojevich.
Magoon said he didn't know.
In the end, it didn't make much difference to Zagel.
"I'm excluding all of this," Zagel ruled. He said he'd explain later.
Next up now is the second in the government's victims: road building executive Gerald Krozel.