Skip to comments.First lady of Illinois linked to developer
Posted on 05/20/2005 2:19:35 PM PDT by LdSentinal
A controversial fundraiser and adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich has had a business relationship with First Lady Patti Blagojevich for eight years, the governor's office acknowledged Thursday.
Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a Chicago developer who has been influential in shaping Blagojevich's administration and policies, has "worked on various projects" with Patti Blagojevich since 1997, said Cheryle Jackson, the governor's spokeswoman.
The disclosure marks the first time that the governor's administration has acknowledged the governor's family has a personal financial link with a key adviser who helped shape the administration and is now tied to a variety of controversies involving allegations of cronyism.
The revelation underscores the depths of the relationship between Rezko and the governor, as well as the level of access Rezko has been given to the administration.
Rezko was one of several Blagojevich associates served with grand jury subpoenas last week in an investigation into allegations that plum government appointments were traded for campaign cash, according to several sources close to the investigation.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
2007 I am out of here.
Have Illinois politics always been this bad?
Or does it only seem worse because some of the corruption is starting to surface in recent years?
And if the parole board turns you down? :)
And just wait until the internet sinks it's teeth into this one as it did that nastiness in Canada.
Hey now Chicago is a world class city.
Come on down to Texas. Even the liberals that move here turn conservative within weeks, unless they move to Austin.
Above Roosevelt and east of Harpo Studios, at least.
A developer in the city of Chicago is tied to the Democratic machine? I am shocked. Oh, this just in. The Pope is also Catholic.
I lived south of Roosevelt for years.
Well south of Roosovelt is the South Side. The North Side of Chicago is an architectural wonder. It's the cleanest big city in the country. Physically not politically.
It has always been this bad, but it seems to surface int 30 year cycles.
Spent a year at 60th and Drexel on the the Midway for a year. Then moved to the Northside (Wicker Park, then Broadway between Argyle and Lawrence) for another year while I finished my Masters.
"Blagojevich kills contract he defended" which includes this buried line about Orlando Jones (John Stroger's godson and former chief of staff and an IPAM subcontractor), CMS Director Michael Rumman (whose agency hired IPAM) and Tony Rezko (a friend of Jones, Stroger, Blagojevich and, apparently, Rumman):
Recently released state records show that Rumman was a business partner with Jones in a separate real estate venture. Rumman said he was brought into the investment by Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a developer who is a top Blagojevich adviser.
Rezko, a wealthy developer who also heads a food service empire, is under fire from Chicago's City Hall, where procurement officials alleged his company was running two Panda Express Asian restaurants at O'Hare International Airport that were supposed to be operated by a minority-run firm. [...]
Rezko, a member of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's closest group of advisers, also has become embroiled in a controversy at the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority after it was disclosed that two of his business partners secured lucrative rights to operate at the tollway's newly revamped oases. [...]
Crucial Inc. is owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the ailing son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.
Cook County commissioners asked what Crucial -- whose only customer is Cook County -- does for $3 million a year, or 30 percent of the contract. Rezko used to have his main offices one floor above.
Stroger's godson and former chief of staff Orlando Jones, a longtime friend and former business partner of Rezko, had a company called the Crucial Group in this same fleet of offices. But he has said that company is defunct and he never had anything to do with Crucial Communications Inc.'s contract with the county.
In a letter to County President John Stroger and other officials, County Commissioner Larry Suffredin said he wants to make sure that contractor Jabir Herbert Mohammad is a legitimate minority-business operator and is not acting as a front for associate Antoin Rezko.
Mr. Rezko has been a top fund-raiser for Mr. Stroger and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and franchises Panda Express fast-food outlets in the Chicago area. He and Mr. Mohammad have a long-standing business relationship.
In his letter, Mr. Suffredin asks whether the county made an independent determination of Crucial Communications status as a minority contractor before qualifying it for the jail pact. Crucial Communications is owned by Mr. Mohammed and operates the county jail's pay phones in partnership with SBC Communications, Inc.
The woman Cook County officials believed was in charge of the day-to-day operations of a politically connected minority firm has been dead for more than a year, prompting a county review of whether the company qualifies as a minority
Her death has raised questions with the county as to whether day-to-day management is in the hands of a minority.
The revelation raises a new question about a company owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, who the City of Chicago claimed last week used a separate firm as a minority front for businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a key adviser to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Michael Rumman, director of the troubled Department of Central Management Services, and Brenda Russell, Department of Employment Security director, both said Antoin "Tony'' Rezko urged Blagojevich to hire them.
Under intense legislative grilling, Rumman made his admission before a House panel investigating waste and mismanagement identified in a recent state audit.
"I was recommended to the governor by Mr. Tony Rezko,'' Rumman told the State Government Administration Committee.
The $120,900-a-year appointee also told the panel that he partnered with Rezko and others in a Chicago land development deal that to date has paid no dividends.
ANTOIN S. REZKO CHAIRMAN
Antoin Rezko co-founded Rezmar with Dan Mahru in 1989. Today, as chairman of Rezmar Corporation and Chicago Construction Services, Rezko oversees the organization's planning, design and construction divisions, leading a seasoned team of engineers, attorneys, architects and construction managers. Their combined experience and expertise ensures that all Rezmar developments are completed on time, on budget and up to the highest development standards.
Rezko's civic involvement includes service on the National Board of Governors for St. Jude Hospital. Previously, he served as executive director of the Mohammed Ali Foundation. In addition to his role at Rezmar, he acts as chief executive officer of Rezko Enterprises, owner of more than 150 restaurants employing 3,000 workers in five Midwestern states. Rezko received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in construction from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
U of C I am guessing. I lived in 54th and the lake, and then on 55th and Ellis, and 57th and Maryland, and finally at 56th and Blackstone. Too bad my whole experience in Chicago was in Hyde Park. I wish I had a chance to live in the fun part of the town. Wicker Park has changed dramatically from years ago. I visited a friend there last year, and didn't recognize anything except for some old store fronts on North Ave which are disappearing fast. It is all trendy Lincoln Park-ish liberal hell-hole.
Yes, I am a U of C alumnus and I actually preferred Hyde Park AND Uptown to Wicker Park (I spent three months in the latter living in a rectory). Uptown was an odd amalgam of Russians, Vietnamese, Nigerians, Gays, with elderly Swedes and Appalachian whites to round out the mix. Close to the Red Line and I only paid $360(!) a month for my tiny studio. I actually worked as a Republican poll watcher for the '98 election.
The governor of IL reminds me of Howdy Doody?
I left Hyde Park in early nineties. I went back there a couple of times and seems like Hyde Park hasn't changed that much. Property value has gone up, but not much in new construction. Still has the eye sore project on 55th St, kids still go to Jimmy's, but there appears to be a new bowling alley and a new gym.
take the advise - that's what we did - and lovin' it !
2007 I am out of here.
My son has lived there for about ten years and is making his plans to get the hell out within the next six months.
He's Florida bound. Two more Republican votes in Florida, where their vote counts.
do I REALLY have to say it???
This week the gov. was bragging about his testiculer virilty.
What a loser. And he has big political asperations. (meaning the White House).
Does she have the ovarian femininity to fight these charges?
Yah know if we'd just turn the governors residence into a jail this state would run a lot smoother. Everyone who moves in winds up in jail. They could just run the whole state from jail at the outset and frankly I don't think anything would be any different.
"This town ain't ready for reform." Paddy Driscoll - 1920's
Paul Powell - Secretary of State - died in 1970 - when they cleaned out his apartment, there was a closet full of shoe boxes, and each shoe box was full of $100 bills.
Mike Royko, from the book Boss, "The official slogan of the Chicago City Council should be, "Ubi Mea", which translates to "Where's Mine?"
And the beat goes on. This is a relatively minor scandal, as Illinois politics goes, but you have to keep up tradition.
That's Paddy Bauler
Never could tell them apart. When people found out I was from Chicago, they used to ask if we told Irish jokes. The automatic response was, "No, we elect them."
You wanna know how JFK was elected? It goes back that far.
Even if Kennedy lost Illinois, he still would have won the election.
Going back to 1960, the following governors have been indicted, Kerner, Ogilvie, Walker, and Ryan. Since 1960 only TWO governors have not been indicted. That is a record which is without precedent. This present governor looks to be headed to join company with the preceding majority.
I don't believe Ogilvie was ever indicted.
He was indicted although the case might not have went to trial. It had to do with some kind of race track deal that he was involved with. The indictment dealt with actions that occurred after he left office. Since in Illinois, politics is a criminal brotherhood which encompasses both so called parties, any time any political hack gets indicted, you can be sure, that he is not innocent. The most amazing thing about Georgie Boy Ryan was that no elected pol in either party ever called for him to resign, mainly because they exploited his political weakeness stemming from the corruption in his Secretary of State's office to get favors and deals from him.
Ogilvie was known as an honorable and honest man. There was corruption by others during his admin, but I can find no record he was ever indicted- during or after he held office. The race track stuff was Kerner.
Only for a century plus. Hell at one time the Outfit had there own Congressman. Sam Giancana's son-in-law was his chief of staff.
Remember the Chicago City Council was once known by the endearingly warm name "The Grey Wolves."
It is even worse since of the two who weren't convicted one served forever and a day, Big Jim Thompson the Republican who got there by sending crooks to jail.