Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blago Denies Roadbuilders Shakedown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday denied another of several remaining government accusations while on the stand.

    The former governor testified he never tried to shake down, threaten or demand campaign contributions from construction executive Gerald Krozel or Illinois Roadbuilders.

    Krozel previously testified he felt pressured to raise money for Blagojevich after the governor announced a massive renovation program for the Illinois tollway, which meant lucrative jobs for the road-building industry.

    Blagojevich also testified that Krozel donated $100,000 for his "fledging" campaign for governor in 2002.

    During his first two days on the stand, Blagojevich denied allegations that he attempted to shake down Rahm Emanuel and extort racetrack owner John Johnston. He also presented jurors with an alternative theory to the government’s accusation that he attempted to shake down a horse racing executive down for a big campaign check.

    He has yet to address accusations of trying to shake down the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital or marketing Barack Obama's Senate seat for his personal gain.