Christopher Kelly, Former Top Blagojevich Fundraiser and Key Figure in Federal Probe, Dies

Kelly was taken to Oak Forest Hospital at 11:15 p.m. Friday, said Marcel Bright, a spokesman for Stroger hospital in Chicago.

He was later transferred to Stroger for further treatment. Kelly arrived at Stroger by ambulance at 5:15 a.m. Saturday and was pronounced dead at 10:46 a.m., Bright said.

Kelly, who admittedly loved to gamble and ran up big debts at Las Vegas casinos and elsewhere, was part of Blagojevich's tight inner circle along with convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko. Rezko is believed to be cooperating with federal prosecutors after being convicted of taking part in a $7 million payoff scheme.

Christopher Kelly, a key figure in the federal corruption probe into former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is dead.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office today confirmed that Christopher Kelly of Burr Ridge was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 10:46 a.m. The office said hospital officials told them Kelly appeared to have died of salicylate intoxication. According to medical reference guides, salicylates are used in anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications.

Kelly was found in a lumber yard near 173rd Street and Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills late Friday, said the town's mayor, Dwight Welch. Kelly arrived at Oak Forest Hospital at 11:15 p.m. Friday, said Marcel Bright, a Stroger Hospital spokesman.

And now, the black gloom that is hopelessness settled down. The trailer—squat, bleak, windowless, penned in with chain-link fencing—loomed up from a weedy lot, as gray and desolate as a tombstone. Scattered within were an empty plastic milk jug, some bottles of aspirin and Tylenol PM, and an open box of rat poison, a few pebbles of which had spilled onto the floor and the ground outside.