Gov. Blagojevich: April 2008 Archives

Governor's response to home lien accusation

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Gov. Blagojevich's spokeswoman, Abby Ottenhoff, responds to an allegation that Tony Rezko shook down former Blagojevich official Ali Ata to pay an impending lien on the governor's home.

Ata said he gave Rezko $25,000 in cash after Rezko told him he needed to pass the money to contractors who were about to place on a lien on the governor's home.

“We can’t comment on alleged conversations that the governor was not a party to,” spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said today. "As we said last year, the Blagojeviches personally paid for the work to renovate their 14-by-20 family room out of their checking account."

Ata, the former $127,000-a-year head of the Illinois Finance Authority, gave $60,000 in contributions to the governor's campaign fund before winning his post. Rezko's lawyers say there is nothing to back up Ata's accusations. Ata is expected to take the stand in Rezko's trial Thursday.

Blago hired Rezko firm for home renovation

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In 2007, the Sun-Times exclusively reported that the governor used contractors from Tony Rezko companies to renovate his Ravenswood Manor home.

Read the story: Blago renovation

Witness: Rezko wanted cash bribe for Blago home

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Here's a summary of today's events in court related to Ali Ata's expected testimony Thursday:
Rezko sought cash to avoid lien on Gov's home

Witness: Rezko needed cash to fix gov's home

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In court today, prosecutors say that Tony Rezko asked former state official Ali Ata to give him cash to help prevent a lien on Gov. Blagojevich's Ravenswood Manor home.

There is no trial today, it is the first of two days off. The free days are designed to give the defense some time to prepare for Ata's testimony since he just came on as a witness last week.

Rezko trial: Predictions

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Tom Rosenberg recalled hearing of pressures the governor's people were putting on a state board to reward political donors.

He once told GOP power broker Bill Cellini predicted that the way a state board operated, people could end up in court. Rosenberg called up Cellini when he had business stall with the Teachers' Retirement System board. Rosenberg had a feeling that his old nemesis Stuart Levine, who was on the TRS board, was behind torpedoing the deal.
So he called up Cellini, "Because he always knows what was going on.”

Blagojevich back in the hot seat

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This didn't come up at the Tony Rezko trial.

But it will.

Ali Ata, a Rezko associate and co-defendant in Rezko's other case -- a loan fraud indictment that's still pending -- said he was in Rezko's Chicago offices with the governor when he handed over a $25,000 campaign check.

More details in the story we just posted online: Ex-aide pleads guilty

Ali Ata
Ali Ata leveled some serious allegations against the governor today.

A former top official in Gov. Blagojevich administration pleaded guilty this afternoon to charges tied to a loan fraud scheme involving Tony Rezko.

Ali Ata, 56, of Lemont is expected to plead guilty in a criminal information including making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and a tax-related count.

Ata is the former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority.

Rezko trial: Blago once had higher hopes

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Joseph Cari gave some pretty compelling testimony his first day on the stand Tuesday.

Read Chris Fusco's story today: Rezko witness: Gov. Dreamed of White House

Natasha Korecki

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

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Gov. Blagojevich category from April 2008.

Gov. Blagojevich: May 2008 is the next archive.

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