Rezko trial: Ata takes the stand

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The last significant witness in the Tony Rezko trial took the stand moments ago.

Ali Ata, a former Blagojevich administration official, got right into his explosive testimony, saying that he passed a $25,000 check to the governor in Tony Rezko's office.


Ata said he arrived at Rezko's Elston Avenue office in 2002. In the back conference room sat Blagojevich's kitchen cabinet, including, Blagojevich campaign manager Lon Monk, fund-raiser Chris Kelly, Rezko and Jay Hoffman.
"I learned that Mr. Hoffman was part of a select group of advisers that were referred to as the kitchen cabinet," Ata said.

Soon, Blagojevich, Ata and Rezko were alone in the room as the other men stepped outside, he said.
With the check on the table, the conversation started.

"Mr. Blagojevich thanked me for my support in the past, for being a team player and a supporter," Ata said.
"Mr. Rezko stated that I had expressed interest in serving in the administration. Blagojevich stated again that I had been a supporter and a friend and asked Mr. Rezko if I had identified job opportunities and Mr. Rezko said yes," Ata said.
At that, Rezko lawyer Joseph Duffy stood up and objected to Blagojevich's conversation, asking if it was being admitted as hearsay.
Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton's reply had to do with the law. But for a moment it had a different ring to it.
"No, certainly, Mr. Blagojevich's statements are not being offered for the truth," she said.


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5 Comments

I was a player in the 1st ward democratic org and I told the feds and anyone else that Rod was a hands on guy and that he would be personally involved in the jobs for sale game.
Do not be shocked if after the trial we find out Senator Obama was involved with Tony secuting State jobs for people who donated money to his campaigns.

Stories about Obama, need to come out now! He already threw Rev. Wright , under the bus because Obama's poll number dropped.

I heard on channel 2 that this was the last witness for the prosecution, but it can't be over there's too much we have not heard yet. Are there going to be more trials, what about all those restaurant deals and the Companion deal? Are the Feds seperating all the charges to avoid confusion and a lengthy trial?
Does anyone out there know?

I agree the material needs to come out.

Why are they afraid to let the public go through Obama's baggage?

Obama was groomed, just as corey Booker was groomed, and that sure as heck isn't someone I want as my president.

Where's all the obama stuff?

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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.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 1, 2008 12:11 PM.

Witness: Rezko's checks bounced was the previous entry in this blog.

Visit from feds drove Ata to state job is the next entry in this blog.

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