Federal agents are investigating real estate deals involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wife as part of a three-year corruption probe into allegations of favoritism and fraud within his administration.I should mention that Reynolds wonders why the Tribune failed to mention the Governor's party. He knows that us locals might know what party the Governor is a part of, but he considers the Trib a national paper. A reader chimes in about this "stop and think" moment...
Several federal sources familiar with the inquiry confirm that agents are interested in hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate commissions Patricia Blagojevich has earned in recent years as a real estate broker for political supporters, fundraisers and state contractors.
One real estate agent told the Tribune that FBI agents contacted her in recent weeks with questions about her dealings with Patricia Blagojevich in a $3.2 million sale of a Gold Coast home in 2004. The seller was an investment banker and generous contributor to the governor's campaign fund who hired the first lady as his second agent on the deal.
It is the latest in a series of real estate deals disclosed by the Tribune in which the governor's wife received commissions from politically connected clients. Most of those deals involved people seeking favor from the government her husband leads.
Neither the governor nor his wife has been accused of any wrongdoing.
But the revelation is the strongest indication yet that the federal investigation into allegations that state business, jobs and other favors were traded for campaign donations reaches beyond the governor's public administration and into his family's finances.
Reader Harmon Ward emails: "Won't leaving 'Democrat' or 'Democratic' out of the articles that also contain the word "Corruption" reduce the instances of finding those articles when they are Googled?" Good point. I doubt that's their goal, but it is still significant.Wow!!! If it is their intent, and let's make that a big IF, then this just sounds like the media engaging in a form of damage control. It would be surprising from a paper that had just last month called for recall of state leaders in Illinois.