A New York Times article today describes President Elect Barack Obama's close relationship with his friends back home on the south side of Chicago.
One of his friends is Eric Whitaker, M.D. A few years ago Obama recommended to Tony Rezko that Dr. Whitaker be given a State job. With the help of Rezko and Governor Blagojevich, Dr. Whitaker was "stunned" to find out that he was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Why would Tony Rezko be involved with IDPH? See this article by Lynn Sweet from the Chicago Sun-Times. This article is about Obama's pal Dr. Whitaker and the doctor's ties to Rezko. Also, see the comments which follow the article. Not everyone is totally trusting of Dr. Whitaker.
One of Dr. Whitaker's jobs at IDPH was controlling the budget of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. This Planning Board controls when new hospitals are built, expanded, etc. This Planning Board was very corrupt and controlled (at least for a while) by Rezko, Stuart Levine, and Governor Blagojevich.
For years I have believed (like many others) that there is conflict of interest in Peoria regarding our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) run by OSF's Drs. George Hevesy and Rick Miller.
And Dr. Whitaker seemed to enjoy giving OSF awards for EMS advocacy in the Peoria Area.
Yet several years ago when I wrote Dr. Whitaker detailing my concerns regarding EMS conflict of interest in Peoria, he referred me to the EMS division of IDPH. It sure seems like he was heavily involved in EMS in Illinois.
I wonder why Dr. Whitaker didn't address my concerns in Peoria?