Blago tapes: 'I'm stuck in this f---ing job'

Blagojevich delivers 2008 State of the State address. (AP)
July 21, 2010 8:04:08 AM PDT
A revenue agent says Rod and Patti Blagojevich faced significant debts in 2008 after spending $400,000 on running clothes, suits and fur coats.

Shari Schindler, who works for the IRS, detailed the former governor's financial situation from 2002-2008. Schindler said they were spending more money than they had coming into their accounts.

As part of the testimony heard by jurors on Thursday, Blagojevich is heard on a 2008 call with his wife and two associates saying, "the whole world is passing me by and I'm stuck in this f---ing job as governor."

"It's been two s----y years," said Blagojevich. "I'm f---ing screwing my family... I'm f---ing my children... I can't afford college for my daughters."

On the same tape, he's heard saying, "F---k him" about then President-elect Barack Obama whom he describes as an expletive. In 2008, Blagojevich was accused of plotting to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Obama. He has pleaded not guilty.

Listen to the tapes or read the transcripts- as they become available- by clicking here. (NOTE: You must open the PDF file of the transcript to find the audio file. The recordings contain some obscenities.)

Using a flow chart, the government showed that on January 21, 2004, Chicago Title sent a check to Rezmar, a company owned by Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko, for $40,000. The next day, Rezmar sent a check for the same amount to River Realty, which is owned by Patti. The day after that, a check from River Realty for $40,000 was deposited into the couple's personal account.

A second chart showed additional checks from Rezko-owned companies to the River Realty account, including a series of $12,000 checks beginning in October 2003 and ending in May 2004. The government appears to be trying to show the money from Rezko was being funneled through Patti Blagojevich's real estate company.

The former CFO of Rezmar testified Thursday that he did not sign checks made out to River Realty because he thought it was wrong. Instead, he had Rezko do it.

Schindler testified that Patti and Rod were more than $300,000 in debt by December 2008 and they started drawing on their home equity line of credit in April 2008. Much of their money- $400,000- was spent on clothing. Items included $10,000 custom suits for Rod and fur coats for Patti, according to Schindler.

The Blagojeviches carried nine credit cards, and financial records show they were spending like crazy, driving themselves deeper in debt. In July of 2008, their credit card and home equity loan debt had climbed to over $215,000 - just a shade less than their combined annual income.

But the spending continued. In the month before his arrest, Blagojevich bought three ties for $640 and spent $4,000 on custom clothes.

On cross examination defense attorney Aaron Goldstein pointed out to jurors that Patti and Rod paid all of their taxes and even rolled over what they overpaid to the next year.

Aide ends testimony

Earlier Thursday, a former advisor for Blagojevich returned to the stand for the third day in a row and the defense filed three motions asking for a mistrial.

Throughout the week, prosecutors have played secretly-recorded FBI tapes of Doug Scofield and Blagojevich discussing the possible nominees for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama.

Scofield said he believed Blagojevich wanted to get something in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett, who was Obama's top choice as a successor. Blagojevich also entertained the idea of appointing himself, according to Scofield.

Scofield finished his testimony Thursday morning. A representative from the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General took the stand next to discuss the ethics training Blagojevich completed from 2004 to 2008.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to the corruption charges.

The defense filed 3 motions asking for a mistrial following Scofield's testimony:

  • 06/30/2010457 MOTION by Rod Blagojevich for mistrial FOR VIOLATION UPON VIOLATIONS OF FEDERAL RULE OF EVIDENCE 701 (Goldstein, Aaron) (Entered: 06/30/2010)
  • 06/30/2010458 MOTION by Rod Blagojevich for mistrial FOR PREJUDICIAL REMARKS BY THE COURT (Goldstein, Aaron) (Entered: 06/30/2010)
  • 06/30/2010459 MOTION by Rod Blagojevich for mistrial for Repeated Violations of FRE 611_B (Goldstein, Aaron) (Entered: 06/30/2010)
  • In the first filing, Blagojevich's lawyers say Scofield should not have been able to testify what was said during a discussion for which he was not involved.

    The second and third filing in part refer to an objection where the judge stated, "If your goal was to stop his answer, you are succeeding." The defense argued Judge James Zagel did not rule on the objection and permitted the witness to continue answering, the defense said.


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