Another look at a former hospital board chairman's testimony
Why would someone spending summers in California's Palm Desert fly back to bitter cold Chicago to attend a hospital board meeting?
That's what longtime Cook County Democrat Thomas Beck said he did in 2004 to serve as chairman to the Illinois Hospital Facilities Planning Board. Beck said he'd take boxes of documents with him to the California home and read about hospital proposals as he bathed in the sun.
Defense lawyer Joseph Duffy asked Beck if he ever asked himself why he was doing that.
Beck said he asked himself why all of the time.
It was an unpaid position.
But Beck asked Tony Rezko to help him get reappointed and even brought with him a $1,000 political contribution for Gov. Blagojevich.
Beck supposedly followed orders handed down by Rezko on how to vote on proposals. Mainly, an $81 million hospital bid that prosecutors say Rezko benefitted from.
There are no allegations that Beck benefitted.
So what are we missing?
Beck did ask for favors. Once, he asked Rezko if he could meet with his son, who worked with the Kohl's Children Museum and needed funding.
Beck also arranged for his longtime friend Ed Kelly to get an $80,000 consulting contract for a lawyer who represented clients before the planning board. That lawyer was Jeff Ladd, also a longtime friend of Beck's. Ladd worked with three different clients who had business before the board over which Beck presided.