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Blagojevich's inner circle

December 15, 2008 4:59:23 PM PST
Past and present members of the governor's inner circle are under scrutiny.The case against the governor is like a political puzzle.

More than two dozen of the governor's associates are unnamed pieces in the federal jigsaw.

But as the I-Team learned on Monday, to be a part of the governor's inner circle, a government salary isn't required.

When federal prosecutors unveiled charges against Governor Blagojevich, it looked like alphabet soup.

And that was intentional, so authorities wouldn't reveal too much to those who were still being looked at.

Among them: Alonzo "Lon" Monk, the governor's chief of staff in his first term and his sometime jogging mate.

Mr. monk is now a consultant and state records reveal that monk lobbies the governor and numerous state agencies on behalf of large corporate clients, several of whom are tied to allegedly corrupt businessman William Cellini.

Mr. monk used to represent big name athletes including Arthur Ashe, Ivan Lendl and Nancy Kerrigan, and sources familiar with the investigation say Monk is believed to be the unnamed "sports consultant" who had dealings with Blagojevich.

Monk works out of his home in Park Ridge, operating a company called Am3 Consulting and did not answer his door or respond to ABC7's calls.

Monk and another former Blagojevich chief of staff John Wyma met regularly with the governor the past few months at the Friends of Blagojevich campaign headquarters.

Wyma is believed to be the unnamed "lobbyist 1" in last week's charges against Blagojevich. State records list him as lobbying the governor on behalf of dozens of corporate clients including Children's Memorial Hospital that authorities say Blagojevich tried to shake down for $50,000.

Finally, Doug Scofield, the former communications chief for Blagojevich's campaign, is likely "advisor A," according to sources knowledgeable with the case. Scofield also lobbies the governor.

First family members are apparently trying to distance themselves from this scandal-literally.

Blagojevich put suitcases into wife Patti's vehicle on Monday morning. She and their two daughters are getting out of town, according to state government sources, suggesting that they are going to Sanibel Island, Florida where the first lady's father, Alderman Dick Mell has a gulf-front house.

ABC7 has been told that it was supposed to be a family holiday trip but that plans changed when the governor was arrested last week.

A spokesman for the governor on Monday said he was unaware of any travel plans.

As for the inner circle members, Scofield, Wyma and Monk have not been charged with any crime.


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