Illinois governor under investigation

| 1/19/2005

The Illinois Attorney General is investigating charges leveled against Gov. Rod Blagojevich by his father-in-law, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office told Land Line.

According to press reports, a Chicago alderman – who is also the governor’s father-in-law – has accused one of the governor’s fund-raisers of accepting $50,000 campaign contributions in exchange for jobs with the state.

Melissa Merz, the spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, confirmed that the state is conducting an investigation “based on allegations made by Alderman (Dick) Mell.” The probe is being conducted in conjunction with the Cook County State Attorney’s office, she added.

Merz said the investigation was in the early stages, and that she could not comment further.

Investigative action appears to already be under way. The Chicago Sun Times reported recently that Madigan had requested lists of all public officials appointed by Blagojevich.

Blagojevich has been a frequent target of truckers. He has vetoed several bills that would have ended the state’s split speed limit, and under his administration, significant increases in fees paid by truckers in Illinois were enacted.

– By Mark H. Reddig, Land Line staff