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

Children's CEO: It was "memorable" that Blagojevich asked me to keep quiet on health care funding

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Reporting with Lark Turner

Prosecutors recall Children's Memorial Hospital CEO Patrick Magoon to the witness stand to explain his conversation with Rod Blagojevich back in 2008.

Prosecutors are rebutting testimony from Blagojevich. The ex-governor testified that he called Magoon the fall of that year to tell him the hospital would get $10 million in funding. But Magoon said he was asked that he not disclose it because the then-governor was making an exception by allowing this funding to go out at a time that he was making "wide and thin" budget cuts.

"I was told that we should not bring any attention to the rate increase until after Jan. 1," Magoon said.

Prosecutors contend that Blagojevich was pressuring Magoon to kick in campaign money before the ex-governor would release $10 million in state money for the hospital.

"Did the defendant provide any reason why you shouldn't bring up any reason for the rate increase?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner asked.
"No," Magoon said. "It was memorable because there was no attention to be brought to a health care matter. That was strange because that's generally not been his practice."

Magoon later told defense lawyer Shelly Sorosky he met again with government last week after his initial testimony.

"Those are hypothetical questions that you are not allowed to ask of this witness," Zagel tells him.

Sorosky is racking up his usual number of sustained objections. He pushes on though, asking questions while looking right at jurors and not the witness.

Reid Schar might be tired of the routine. Shaking his head and rubbing his face.

Patti's brother has his arm around her. Blagojevich is shuffling index cards and looking restless.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 8, 2011 2:08 PM.

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