Kiferbaum has pleaded guilty in the case. Blagojevich has not been charged with wrongdoing.It should be mentioned that none of the hospital bribes involved in this case was ever paid as the FBI investigation was well underway cracking those schemes before they actually were hatched. The government's star witness said that in early 2003 Rezko was opposed to Mercy Health System's plan to build the hospital in McHenry County's Crystal Lake.
Levine said Rezko's turnabout came at a meeting in the fundraiser's office.
"I said, 'Would it make a difference if you and I could make a lot of money if Mercy got its CON?" Levine testified Thursday, referring to the "certificate of need" the board must issue before any new hospital construction is launched in Illinois.
"You bet!" Levine quoted Rezko as saying.
A week before the key planning board meeting where the project was pushed through, Levine said, he met Rezko for dinner at the Standard Club in downtown Chicago and again brought up the subject.
"I described how the bribe would be split," Levine testified. "One half for Mr. Rezko and one half for me."
Levine said he still hadn't finalized the specifics with Kiferbaum.
"He (Kiferbaum) had already agreed it would be between $1 million and $1.5 million and I told Mr. Rezko at the meeting it would be $1.5 million," Levine testified.
The measure went through the board a week later with the bare minimum five votes needed for approval. All five were from board members who had been sponsored for their seats by Rezko.
But Rezko's attorneys say he never ordered anybody to approve the hospital project and he never agreed to accept a bribe. They say Levine's memory is unreliable because he was a heavy drug user at the time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.