Joseph Cari sentenced, Blagojevich Rezko Obama Biden ties, Cari pressured by Stuart Levine, John Harris and Alonzo Monk await sentencing

Joseph Cari sentenced, Blagojevich Rezko Obama Biden ties, Cari pressured by Stuart Levine, John Harris and Alonzo Monk await sentencing

“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren

From the Chicago Tribune August 9, 2011.

“A federal judge chose not to send a cooperating witness in the prosecution of Rod Blagojevich to prison for his role in trying to shake down an asset management firm, sentencing the former fundraiser on Tuesday to three years of probation.

Joseph Cari, 58, is one of the first notable figures to be sentenced of those who took plea deals and testified against the impeached Illinois governor. Blagojevich’s former chiefs of staff John Harris and Alonzo Monk are among those still awaiting sentencing.

Cari, who pleaded guilty to attempted extortion, told Judge Amy St. Eve just before she sentenced him that he took full responsibility for his actions and was sorry.

“I will live with the shame and pain for the rest of my life,” he said.

A former finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Cari described to jurors at Blagojevich’s first corruption trial how the then-governor boasted to him in 2003 about how governors could pressure companies desperate for state business for campaign cash.

Prosecutors decided not to call Cari as part of their streamlined case at the retrial this year, where Blagojevich was convicted of counts including trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat for a high-paying job or campaign donations. Blagojevich is slated to be sentenced Oct. 6.

As part of Cari’s probation, St. Eve said he must remain on home confinement for the first nine months, though he will be able to leave to go to work or even to travel abroad on business. The maximum prison sentence for extortion is 20 years.”

“At Blagojevich’s first trial, Cari told jurors that the governor’s advisers dangled the possibility that he could get law business and other fees from the state if he put his fundraising contacts to work for a possible Blagojevich run for the White House.

Cari said he eventually bowed to pressure from Stuart Levine, a Blagojevich campaign contributor and influential member of the board that governed a multibillion-dollar fund that pays the pensions of Illinois teachers not in Chicago. Levine wanted Cari to call the Virginia-based asset management firm and warn them they would lose an $80 million allocation from the fund if they didn’t hire a consultant they had never met. Cari said that when the head of the management firm asked why, he had a simple answer: “That’s the way they do it in Illinois.””

Read more:–blagojevichtrial-cari,0,5737774.story

From Citizen Wells August 26, 2008.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better. Just when you thought the height of lies, deception and corruption had been achieved. Along comes another tie to Tony Rezko and crime and corruption in Chicago and Illinois. We have a balanced ticket in Obama and Biden. They both have ties to Tony Rezko and Joseph Cari.”

“Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del. (left), has been advised since 1984 by Joseph Cari (right), the Chicago lawyer and onetime mega-fundraiser who has been tied to the Antoin “Tony” Rezko patronage scandal.”

“Chicago lawyer and onetime mega-fundraiser Joseph Cari has advised Biden and his campaigns on and off since 1984, serving in posts as varied as a Senate adviser on crime to the Midwest Political Director for Biden’s aborted 1987 presidential bid. In 2005 Cari helped arrange private meetings for Biden with potential supporters, as the senator explored another run for the White House. He has also worked to raise money for Biden . “

“Cari admitted that in 2004 he helped a Rezko associate by making calls in what turned out to be a kickback scheme. The deal was an offshoot of a complex corruption scheme wrought by Antoin “Tony” Rezko , whose ties to Obama have vexed the White House hopeful . Cari has maintained he did not know the details of that scheme or any other.”

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From Citizen Wells June 17, 2010.

“Joseph Cari, Democratic National Committee finance chairman, tied to Chicago corruption, is on the witness stand today, Thursday, June 17, 2010. Cari is a two for one witness. He has ties to corruption and Joe Biden.

From the Tony Rezko trial.

April 15, 2008
“Former Democratic fundraiser Joseph Cari testified Tuesday afternoon about a 2003 fundraising trip he took to New York with Gov. Rod Blagojevich, offering some of the most damaging testimony for the governor to emerge from the trial of his fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Cari said the governor told him that he thought it would be easy to raise money for a presidential run because a governor had the ability to raise money by handing out contracts and state business.

Cari said his conversation with Blagojevich took place on a private plane arranged by Stuart Levine, the star witness in the case against Rezko who finished lengthy testimony earlier Tuesday.

Blagojevich told him how happy he was to be governor, Cari said, “but also that he had aspirations beyond the governorship.”

Cari said he discussed with Blagojevich why former President Bill Clinton had been successful running for the office as a sitting governor in Arkansas. Blagojevich told him that it was easier for a governor to make a run than a senator “because a governor had the ability to award contracts,” Cari said. “It was easier to obtain contributions.””

“Cari said he met with Stuart Levine at Rezko’s office in January that year. Rezko said he had the power to award contracts and get consultants hired through the governor’s then-chief of staff, Lon Monk, Cari said.

“Mr. Monk took direction from [Rezko],” Cari told the jury.

Rezko illustrated his clout by picking up the phone and apparently calling Monk in front of him, Cari said.”

“Cari said he was a go-between for one of his partners at HealthPoint and tried to follow Levine’s orders to have a finder’s fee paid on an $80 million allocation for JER from the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System.

When the arrangement was delayed, Cari said, he spoke to a JER executive who was shepherding the TRS deal and told her what Levine had communicated to him. If JER didn’t hire the consultant that had been named, the allocation would be pulled.

“I unequivocally told her that,” Cari testified.

The governor and the people around him selected law firms, investment firms and consultants that were used in such arrangements, Cari said he told the executive.

“This has been the history of Illinois and this is the way in Illinois that it’s done,” he said.””

Read more:

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