Patti Blagojevich sues former employer, claims defamation

The wife of ousted Illinois Gov.

Rod Blagojevich is suing the director of a charity where she formerly worked, saying he damaged her reputation by claiming she stole a list of donors.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, indicates the accusation was made to attract media attention and generate free publicity at the expense of a person whose life is the focus of constant public attention and scrutiny.

Blagojevich filed her lawsuit against Richard Roberts, senior director of strategy and communications for the Chicago Christian Industrial League, a private anti-poverty agency.

Roberts did not immediately return telephone calls for comment.

Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich's wife on Thursday sued the director of a private charity where she formerly worked as a fundraiser, saying he had damaged her reputation by claiming she stole a list of donors.

"There is no easier way to attract media attention and generate free publicity than to make false accusations against a person whose life is the focus of a constant public attention and scrutiny," said the lawsuit filed on behalf of Patti Blagojevich in Cook County Circuit Court.

Blagojevich's suit named as a defendant Richard Roberts, senior director of strategy and communications for the Chicago Christian Industrial League, a private organization that helps the poor.

Messages seeking comment were left at Roberts' office and at the office of Blagojevich's attorney, Jay Edelson.

The wife of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is suing an executive with the Chicago non-profit where she used to work.

Patti Blagojevich alleges the Chicago Christian Industrial League's Rick Roberts defamed her by making comments to a Sun-Times columnist. In the column, Roberts accused Blagojevich of using an e-mail list from the non-profit to promote her husband's new book. Illinois' former first lady worked at the League for a few months starting in September 2008.