Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Illinois Finance Authority Mentioned Again in Blago Trial

Yesterday I posted regarding Governor Blago and the Illinois Finance Authority and OSF in Peoria.

The article below is from the Tribune this morning (6/23/2010).

What did Blago expect from Peoria?


More pressure to fire Tribune editorial board

Another wiretap recording played at the trial this morning dealt again with Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged desire to see Chicago Tribune editorial writers fired in exchange for his support for a state deal to buy Wrigley Field.

In a call on Nov. 6, 2008, Blagojevich can be heard talking to his chief of staff, John Harris, and telling him to deliver a message to Tribune Co. to make changes on the editorial board.

Harris said on the call he was in between meetings with a Tribune executive, Nils Larsen, and that he would tell Larsen to fire the editorial board.

But to that point, Harris testified, he had not told Larsen about the governor's request. "Because it was wrong to do so," Harris testified.

On the call, Blagojevich told Harris the plan was a priority and that he should "stay on it." He asked if Harris thought Tribune had gotten the message about the editorial board.

"He got it loud and clear," Harris said on the tape.

But Harris told the jury that was not the truth. In reality, Harris said, he had only suggested to Larsen that negative editorials about the governor could derail the proposal.

"What does this mean to them? $500 million?" Blagojevich asked about a plan to have the Illinois Finance Authority assist in a Wrigley plan. Harris indicated it was more like $100 million.

--Jeff Coen

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