Witness in Rod Blagojevich Trial Testifies that Rezko Paid Patti Blagojevich For Doing No Work
A government witness has testified that businessman Tony Rezko asked him to cut checks to the former governor's wife even though she hadn't done work for it.
Robert Williams, former chief financial officer of Rezko's Rezmar company said
she was paid $12,000 a month and it was recorded in Rezmar books as consulting.
Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked if Williams was aware of any consulting work Patti Blagojevich did.
Williams: "I was not."
Williams is testifying under a grant of immunity.
Williams said he'd occasionally see Patti in the offices.
"She had her children with her," he said and she usually just talked to Rezko.
"Mr. Rezko informed me we wouldn't be writing any more checks after that May, 2004 check," he said.
Through its latest witness, prosecutors are following the money trail from Tony Rezko to pay for contractors who worked on a major Blagojevich home renovation.
Prosecution witness Robert Williams, Rezmar Chief Financial Office, read off the list of contractors who did work on the Blagojevich family's Ravenswood Manor home.
The main contractor and the subcontractors all were companies tied to Rezko.
The total amount to be paid to the various subcontractors at that time in January of 2004: $39,966.68.
Williams previously said Rezko asked him to pay $40,000 to Patti Blagojevich during the same time frame. Though the money purported to be commission for the sale of a condo unit, Williams said he wasn't aware of any work Patti Blagojevich did to earn the commission.
Robert Williams, a onetime executive for Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s development company, has testified to what he said was a dummied-up $15,000 commission paid to Patti Blagojevich for work she didn’t do.
Williams said Rezko came to him about making the payment to Patti Blagojevich in the summer of 2003. Williams said he searched for a way to disguise the payment to her to make it appear it was for legitimate work on a company project.
After saying that Patti Blagojevich made $12,000-a-month in what appeared to be a sham consulting arrangement, Robert Williams has testified about a January 2004 lump-sum payment of $40,000 to Patti Blagojevich’s River Realty that prosecutors contend went to pay subcontractors working on the Blagojevich home.
Antoin “Tony” Rezko came to him with a $40,000 check payable to “Rezmar Realty” – a nonexistent company, williams testified. He was to deposit it “and in return write a check to River Realty Inc. in the same $40,000 amount,” he said.
On cross-examination, Blagojevich’s lawyer, Sam Adam Jr., pointed out that Antoin “Tony” Rezko did enter into contracts that onetime Rezmar executive Robert Williams did not know about, suggesting that there could have been legitimate reasons for payments to Patti Blagojevich.
She was a certified appraiser and a licensed real estate agent, Adam said of the governor’s wife, and could have taken road trips to see properties or otherwise consult in ways Williams did not know about. Williams generally agreed.