William Cellini trial witness Steven Loren link to Obama, All Chicago corruption roads lead to Obama
William Cellini trial witness Steven Loren link to Obama, All Chicago corruption roads lead to Obama
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“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
From the Chicago Tribune October 11, 2011.
“Former Teachers’ Retirement System lawyer testifies to power broker’s
role in Blagojevich-TRS corruption axis, misconduct of implicated
board member Levine”
“A small but key group of people involved in the Illinois Teachers’
Retirement System had gathered for a meeting in a Chicago office
building in February 2004.
TRS Executive Director Jon Bauman and board member Stuart Levine were
already there, but longtime Springfield power broker William Cellini,
who had made millions of dollars from investing funds for the pension
system, was running late.
When Cellini arrived, he had warm welcomes — and a hug and a kiss on
the cheek for both Bauman and Levine — as well as a story to tell,
according to testimony Tuesday during the third day of Cellini’s
federal trial on charges of fraud and attempted extortion.
Testifying for the government, Steven Loren said Cellini indicated he
had met with top advisers to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to warn them
they were “moving too fast” and were “going to get themselves in
trouble.” Cellini said he went on to tell the advisers, Antoin “Tony”
Rezko and Christopher Kelly, that they should use “Bill Cellini as an
example,” according to Loren, who was a lawyer for TRS at the time.
Cellini then related to them how in his 30 years in politics he had
stayed “above the fray” and “out of the limelight.”
Cellini is now defending himself on charges that he worked with
Levine, Rezko and Kelly to try to squeeze a campaign contribution for
Blagojevich’s campaign from a Hollywood producer whose investment firm
had substantial TRS business.
Loren testified for about five hours about how Levine and Cellini
plotted with Rezko and Kelly to protect their influence with TRS.
Prosecutors hope Loren’s testimony will be important corroboration for
Levine, the government’s key witness, whose credibility is a central
issue for the defense. Levine — who like Loren has pleaded guilty in
the scandal — could take the witness stand as soon as Wednesday.
Loren testified that Levine had asked him to help defeat a proposal to
merge several state pension boards, a move that would have diluted the
power Cellini and Levine held at TRS. Loren said Levine told him he
showed Cellini a rough draft of some talking points on the issue
prepared by Loren. Cellini thought the ideas looked good but for one
minor tweak — the font should be changed, Loren said.
Loren also talked about how during a car ride with Levine in October
2003 — the last Friday of the month, he repeatedly recalled — he
agreed to help Levine prepare a sham finder’s fee for a man who did
business with the state.
In that same conversation, Levine explained to Loren that Cellini,
Kelly and Rezko had talked about how they would use these sham
finder’s fees to reward Blagojevich campaign contributors and that in
return, Rezko and Kelly would not interfere with the selection of
investment companies for TRS.
Loren endured a lengthy cross-examination by Cellini’s attorney, Dan
Webb, who prodded him about his role in the scandal, what other “acts
of dishonesty” he committed and his friendship with Levine, who in
testimony in Rezko’s 2008 trial admitted to drug binges.
Loren testified that he considered him a close friend but realizes
that Levine kept secrets from him. Webb asked Loren whether Levine
shared details about “his all-night drug parties.”
His head down, Loren said no.
While U.S. District Judge James Zagel blocked some of Webb’s
questions, Loren admitted he had fudged billing records in an
How is Obama connected to Steven Loren?
From the Rod Blagojevich Complaint. (Note bold wording)
“35. As described more fully in the following paragraphs, Mercy
Hospital, which sought permission from the Planning Board to build a
hospital in Illinois, received that permission through Rezko’s
exercise of his influence at the Planning Board after Rezko was
promised that Mercy Hospital would make a substantial campaign
contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH. Rezko later told a member of the
Planning Board that Mercy Hospital received the permit because ROD
BLAGOJEVICH wanted the organization to receive the permit.
36. Levine’s criminal activities included his abuse of his position on
the Planning Board to enrich both himself and Friends of Blagojevich.
The Planning Board was a commission of the State of Illinois,
established by statute, whose members were appointed by the Governor
of the State of Illinois. At the relevant time period, the Planning
Board consisted of nine individuals. State law required an entity
seeking to build a hospital, medical office building, or other medical
facility in Illinois to obtain a permit, known as a “Certificate of
Need” (“CON”), from the Planning Board prior to beginning
37. Levine, as well as Planning Board members Thomas Beck and Imad
Almanaseer, testified under oath at the Rezko Trial.9 Beck testified
that he asked Rezko to reappoint him to the Planning Board and that
Beck thereafter followed Rezko’s directions regarding which CON
applications Rezko wanted approved. Beck testified that it was his job
to communicate Rezko’s interest in particular CONs to other members of
the Planning Board, including Almanaseer, who were loyal to Rezko.
Beck testified that he understood that Rezko spoke for the Blagojevich
administration when Rezko spoke to Beck about particular CONs.
Almanaseer testified that Beck instructed him that Rezko wanted
Almanaseer to vote a particular way and that Almanaseer should follow
Levine’s lead in voting on CONs. Almanaseer testified that before
certain Planning Board meetings, he received notecards from Beck
indicating how to vote on certain CON applications. Beck testified he
provided these notecards to Almanaseer and certain other members of
the Planning Board to communicate Rezko’s directions about certain CON
38. During his testimony, Levine described a plan to manipulate the
Planning Board to enrich himself and Friends of Blagojevich. The plan
centered on an entity commonly known as Mercy Hospital (“Mercy”) that
was attempting to obtain a CON to build a new hospital in Illinois.
Levine knew the contractor hired to help build the hospital. In
approximately November 2003, on behalf of the contractor, Levine
checked with Rezko to determine whether Rezko wanted Mercy to obtain
its CON. Rezko informed Levine that Mercy was not going to receive its
CON. According to Levine, he asked Rezko whether it would matter to
Rezko if Mercy’s construction contractor paid a bribe to Rezko and
Levine and, in addition, made a contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH.
Levine testified that Rezko indicated that such an arrangement would
change his view on the Mercy CON.
39. Levine’s testimony regarding Rezko’s actions to change the
Planning Board decision concerning Mercy’s application for a CON based
on contributions for ROD BLAGOJEVICH is confirmed by attorney Steven
Loren. Loren testified at Rezko’s criminal
trial and, before that, in the grand jury.11 According to Loren, in
approximately December 2003, Levine informed Loren that Rezko was
against the Mercy CON. According to Loren, Levine relayed to Loren a
conversation between Rezko and Levine during which Levine asked Rezko
whether a political contribution to ROD BLAGOJEVICH would make a
difference for Mercy’s CON, and Rezko responded to Levine that such a
contribution might make a difference.”
There is only one way that the Planning Board could be rigged with 5 member’s votes. The board had to be changed from 15 to 9 members.
Obama’s connection to the rigging of the Planning Board is apparent from this timeline.
“Jan. – Aug. 2003: Obama was Chairman of the IL Senate Health and Human Service Committee.
Feb. 20, 2003: Senate Bill 1332 “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act” filed. Reduced members of IL Health Planning and Facilities Board from 15 to 9.
(Rezko Trial March 13, 2008; 3:09 p.m.)
“Almanaseer was appointed to the planning board in 2003 on Rezko’s recommendation. Prosecutors contend he became part of a five-member voting bloc on the board that followed Rezko’s wishes. Almanaseer said board Chairman Thomas Beck tried to steer his voting.
“He said, ‘If you just don’t know which way to vote, vote the way Mr. Levine votes because that’s the way Tony would want the vote to go,” Almanaseer recalled, referring to Stuart Levine.”
Spring 2003 – Nov 2003: (Rezko trial March 11, 2008; 10:58 a.m.)
“Jennifer Thomas, a former aide to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s patronage chief Joe Cini, continued on the stand Tuesday morning and gave a few more insights into those regular Monday morning meetings she and Cini held in 2003 with Antoin “Tony” Rezko at his office.”
“Thomas said Rezko floated the names of several people to sit on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, which the government claims Rezko corrupted with the help of board member Stuart Levine. And Thomas said Rezko at one point made it clear that he wanted to see Levine reappointed to the panel, which was being overhauled by the governor in 2003.”
May 21, 2003: Senate Bill 1332 passed by House and Senate.
June 27, 2003: Blagojevich made this the effective date of Senate Bill 1332.
June 2003: (Rezko trial March 10, 2008; 4:16 p.m.)
“Ziegelmueller asked Hayden about a 2003 e-mail exchange with Lichtenstein, then the governor’s top lawyer, in which Wilhelm made recommendations for the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.
The name of Barack Obama, the Democratic front-runner for the presidential nomination, also appears in the e-mail as a member of a strategic team reviewing hospital board matters with the governor’s staff when he was a state senator. The hospital board was scheduled to be revamped in the summer of 2003.
Obama was then chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.”
June 30, 2003: Obama gets the following donations.
$5000 Ali Ata was appointed as Director at IFA
$6000 Alison Davis gets appointment on Investment Board
$15,000 Dr. Michael Malek gets appointment on Hospital Facility Board
$5000 Abdelhamid Chaib’s wife gets appointment on Employee Security Board
$10,000 Elie Maloof – Rezko used him as one of several strawmen to donate funds to certain politicians.
$1000 Phil Cacciatore (one of Auchi’s Riverside Park Investors) gets seat on Board
$1000 Velma Butler (one of Auchi’s Riverside Park Investors) was recommended for Board
$1000 Martello Pollack (Vegas Crystal Comm) received Iraqi Construction contracts
$1000 Jack Carriglio gets appointed to Board
$500 Anthony Abboud gets appointed to Board
$3000 Michael Winter, who helped Rezko in funneling kickbacks through investment firm
$1000 Talat Othman gets appointed to Board
$1000 David Gustman, $1000 from Gustman’s wife after he is appointed Board Chairman”
The US Justice Department has done it’s best to protect Obama in the Operation Board Games investigations and prosecution. They cannot remove the many ties Obama has to Chicago corruption.
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