We haven’t yet found any hidden bombshells in the lengthy document filed today by prosecutors in the Rod Blagojevich case.
But here’s one excerpt that offers a pretty vivid picture of the kind of casual corruption and self-dealing that, the Feds allege, seemingly permeated almost every action that the then-governor of Illinois took — to a level that appears to have put off even his closest advisers.
After John Harris became Blagojevich’s Chief of Staff in 2006, Blagojevich talked to Harris and others within the Office of the Governor about getting Blagojevich’s wife a job. Blagojevich wanted to hire his wife at the State of Illinois. Harris thought this was a terrible idea and told Blagojevich to talk to Individual F, a political consultant who worked with Blagojevich, about this, because Harris believed that Individual F would tell him it was a terrible idea. Individual F told Blagojevich that he couldn’t hire his wife at the State.
In approximately the beginning of 2008, Blagojevich would often threaten to put his wife
on a paid state board, particularly the Pollution Control Board, if Harris and others within the Office of the Governor were not successful in finding her suitable employment. The Pollution Control Board was a high-paying state board, with an annual salary of over $100,000 per year. The position involved a considerable workload and weekly meetings, as well as specific qualifications which Blagojevich’s wife did not meet. When Harris told Blagojevich that his wife did not meet the qualifications for the board, Blagojevich was unhappy and mentioned another board member whom he thought was unqualified and basically said that if this other unqualified person could sit on the board, then his wife should be able to as well. Harris told Blagojevich that he had not made that other appointment (it had happened before Blagojevich was Governor) and that even if that
individual was not in fact qualified, it didn’t offer an excuse to put Blagojevich’s wife, who was definitely unqualified, on the board. Harris also explained to Blagojevich that the Pollution Control Board met regularly and involved considerable work, which Blagojevich said was not the type of paid position that he was looking to get his wife.
You stay classy, governor!