Blago to Kelly: 'You're a roofer, I'm an ex-Congressman'

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Stuart Levine brings up the governor again this morning. Levine testifies he asked Blagojevich advisers and fund-raisers Chris Kelly and Tony Rezko to help convince the governor
not to consolidate the three state pension funds. The state budget director, John Filan, had recommended the move.

But if that happened, Levine would lose his position on the Teachers’ Retirement Systems board, which controlled billions of dollars. Levine said he and friend Bill Cellini, a GOP operative, talked about stopping the consolidation. Levine said since Cellini was close to Kelly, he’d talk to him about talking with the governor.
“Look, you’re a roofer and I’m an ex-Congressman,” Blagojevich said to Kelly. Levine explained that the governor was asking Kelly why he shouldn’t follow his budget director’s advice on
So Levine asked his friend and attorney Steve Loren to draw up “talking points” that would give the governor good reason to oppose the consolidation.
Levine said he met with Kelly and Rezko in Rezko’s office, but only Kelly spoke. Kelly was asked “if they were sufficient. He told me they were,” Levine said.
Levine said he and Cellini came up with an agreement that if the consolidation didn’t go through then Levine would help Rezko and Kelly get their chosen people investments.
Later, Kelly allegedly delivered some orders through Cellini to Levine. Levine learned Kelly was interested in two $50 million investments.
“He indicated they were people who had contributed and that Mr. Kelly needed to reward,” Levine said.
“I indicated to Mr. Cellini that whatever accommodations could be made -- they had to fall within criteria of TRS investments...if we were going to be asked to just push through anything... I wouldn’t participate,” Levine said he told Cellini.
Levine said he preferred dealing with Rezko because he was a true businessman. He found that Kelly, on the other hand, to “shoot from the hips. He wanted to say ‘do something’ and have it done immediately,” Levine said.

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Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on March 31, 2008 11:40 AM.

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