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

Prosecutors bring up more alleged pay-to-play, say Blagojevich was hoping for money from construction magnate

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By Dave McKinney

Prosecutors also focused on another alleged pay-to-play scheme involving Blagojevich and construction magnate and asphalt kingpin Michael Vondra.

Vondra, who was represented by lobbyist and Blagojevich fundraiser John Wyma, wanted state help in bringing a British Petroleum facility to the south side and arranged a meeting on Oct. 6, 2008.

"One of the things you asked Mr. Wyma was whether Mr. Vondra would be help you fundraise," Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar asked Blagojevich.

"Yes," the ex-governor acknowledged.

"This was not long after Mr. Vondra had left asking you for help, correct?" Schar said

"Yes," Blagojevich answered.

The ex-governor said Jack Lavin, Blagojevich's former head of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and now Gov. Pat Quinn's chief of staff, nixed the deal.

Blagojevich's campaign wanted Vondra to raise $100,000 before new state fundraising restrictions kicked in at the end of 2008.

Despite losing out on the BP deal, Blagojevich said he wanted Vondra to know there would be opportunities for him under a $1.8 billion tollway-construction program the governor did on his own plus under a potential $6 billion capital program Blagojevich was eyeing the following year.

Blagojevich also said Vondra had an interest in getting a part of the long-discussed but long-delayed western access to O'Hare.

"Your response was Mr. Vondra should be informed there's work for him at the tollway now, and next year there could be a lot more stuff," Schar said.

"That's right, the capital bill, that type of thing," Blagojevich said.

"Mr. Vondra still had issues of interest with the government," Schar said later.

"I don't dispute that," Blagojevich answered.

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This page contains a single entry by Lark Turner published on June 7, 2011 11:14 AM.

Blagojevich: 'Fair to say' I was not a big fan of Jackson was the previous entry in this blog.

Prosecutor on alleged Jackson offer: 'Did you view it as a bribe?' Blagojevich: 'I viewed it as illegal' is the next entry in this blog.

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