Witness at Tony Rezko trial talks about his connections
Rezko witness Thomas Beck said yesterday he's cousins with former longtime ward boss (and former parks superintendent) Ed Kelly. When asked today, Beck laughed. He explained that Kelly is his mother's sister's husband's sister's son. That got a laugh in the courtroom.
He calls Kelly his cousin: "to make it simple for everyone."
The two have known each other their whole lives, said Beck, former head of the state's health planning board.
Beck testified he set up Kelly with a lawyer, Jeff Ladd, who hired Kelly as a consultant to represent several hospitals trying to get projects approved before the planning board. Ladd paid Kelly $80,000, according to a court filing. Duffy asked Beck if this was a conflict of interest for him, given that he was to vote on projects being pushed by his "cousin" Kelly and Ladd, whom Beck described as a longtime friend.
"I don't think it did," Beck said. "In the back of my mind, maybe it did."