They helped secure Rod Blagojevich. Then they helped secure his demise.
Two top officials with the Illinois State Police, Director and Rod Blagojevich appointee Larry Trent and deputy director Charles Brueggemann -- were in covert conversations with the FBI in the fall of 2008, letting them know when Blagojevich wanted sweeps of his campaign office, as well as other help, according to sources and phone records obtained by the Sun-Times.
When it was revealed in last summer's trial that the State Police had swept Blagojevich's campaign office, the agency was criticized for allowing the former governor to use them at his disposal.
Turns out, they were in on the investigation.
Brueggemann's phone records show a flurry of phone calls back and forth with the FBI and its special-agent-in-charge, Robert Grant, before and after several of the critical dates in the timeline that led to Blagojevich's Dec. 9, 2008 arrest. Brueggemann sometimes followed the talks with calls to Trent's home phone, records show.
The information provided by the men helped hasten the investigation as well as aid in the FBI's delicate late-night bug installation into Blagojevich's campaign headquarters -- timed to happen before an Oct. 22 meeting between Blagojevich and his inner circle, according to sources.
John Wyma, a lobbyist and Blagojevich pal who was secretly cooperating, told the feds he was to meet with Blagojevich at his Ravenswood campaign office on that date to discuss fund-raising. The feds at the time were probing pay-to-play allegations.
The State Police also relayed to the FBI that Blagojevich's camp wanted an Oct. 22 sweep, sources said. From Oct. 17 to Oct. 24, 2008, Brueggemann's phone records show 16 calls to or from the FBI. On the eve of the Dec. 9, 2008 arrest, Brueggemann talked to the FBI for at least 35 minutes, the records showed. The State Police swept the campaign office that day, according to Robert Blagojevich's testimony at trial. That was three days after a Chicago Tribune article revealed the feds were listening in on Blagojevich.