Rezko trial: 'This is how the governor handles patronage'

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A fax from Turks & Caicos.
An associate barging into a meeting announcing she had to do so or she'd be fired.
An unknown man on the line demanding action.
“I’m very close with the governor," the man, (who turns out to be Joseph Cari) said: “This is how the governor handles patronage.”
Which governor?
“The governor of the state of Illinois,” said Clyde Robinson, a director of investor relations from JER Partners, who took us through the series of events this afternoon.

JER was trying to get an investment with the Teachers Retirement System. But Robinson testified that as he had a meeting with an associate at JER, Cari was on the phone.

In an aggressive tone, Cari told Robinson and JER principal Deborah Harmon the agreement had to be signed that day and faxed back. The agreement named the consultant as William McCollum, someone Robinson and Harmon said they didn't know. Cari said if it wasn't done that day, JER's proposal with the TRS board would be "yanked."

Robinson said he didn't know who Cari was.

Ultimately, JER didn't go through with the consulting agreement.

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Maybe JER didn't play the extortion game because they hadn't met enough of the "Ilinois Gang" to know just how we operate here in the most corrupt state in the nation. As this trial continues, we small town folk are anxious to see how many more credible witnesses take the stand and openly implicate Blago the Destroyer. Although we aren't considered very smart down here by Chicago standards, we certainly smell the stench and see the bones left behind by this crew.

Why didn't JER pay to play?

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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 April 16, 2008 3:57 PM.

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