Former Ryan aide speaks out

August 26, 2009 8:50:12 PM PDT
A former top aide for George Ryan who testified against the former governor is talking about his cooperation with federal authorities.Scott Fawell spent five years in prison.

Scott Fawell, 52, has had nothing to say to the media in six years until Wednesday evening when he spoke on WTTW's Chicago Tonight.

Scott Fawell says he was faced with the nearly impossible choice of testifying against his close friend George Ryan or watching the woman he loves go to prison for an extended stay. The feds monitored his phone calls from prison to Andrea Coutretsis, his girlfriend.

"The word was sent through my attorney that the only thing that potentially stands between Andrea and prison time is Scott," said Fawell.

Fawell hasn't spoken to Ryan since his testimony helped send the former governor to prison.

"I love George. He's my friend," said Fawell.

He began seeing Andrea Coutretsis while they both worked under Ryan and while she was still married to another man.

"My lawyer said to me that if we weren't together I probably wouldn't have been indicted," said Andrea Coutretsis, former George Ryan employee.

Fawell has been called cocky by some, a label he admits is pretty accurate. And he says politics is a contact sport and sometimes people get hurt.

"Some of the things they say I did, I did," said Fawell.

His attorney argued unsuccessfully that what he did was not a crime. He was never charged in connection with the deadly crash that killed six children in the Willis family. It was caused by parts falling from illegally licensed truck driver Ricardo Guzman's vehicle. The Willis Family attorney says Fawell and George Ryan are ultimately to blame.

"If this whole scandal hadn't started... Ricardo Guzman would never have been on the road," said Joe Power, Willis Family attorney.

Fawell sees it differently.

"It's a tragedy. And certainly, I'm sorry it ever happened. But no, do I feel responsibility...No, I really don't," said Fawell.

Falwell was convicted of racketeering and mail fraud in 2002. Andrea Coutretsis was sentenced to four months for lying to a grand jury. Both say they've had a very difficult time finding work since their release.


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