Blago to Taxpayers: Pay My Bill

Governor wants his defense attorney costs covered

Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants taxpayers to pay for the high-profile defense lawyer he hired to represent him in state lawmakers impeachment proceedings.

Currently the governor is on his own to pay his legal bills.

His lawyer, Edward Genson, said that in a perfect world, state Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan should represent the governor.

However, a conflict of interest is present because she's the one that filed the motion with the Supreme Court. In that case, Genson said, the state should appoint someone else to represent the governor or provide cash for his defense.

"He is entitled to be represented by the attorney general. He happens to have an attorney general who files things against him," Genson said, referring to Madigan's request for a temporary restraining order to remove Blagojevich from power.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused, without comment, to hear Madigan's case.  [Read More...]

It's unclear whether Genson's appeal to the attorney general will get Blagojevich state-appointed, taxpayer-funded defense, but Genson's moves have obviously set the stage for the hearings to be much more contentious.

This comes on top of State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias' comments Tuesday that Blagojevich's arrest delayed a $1.4 billion short-term borrowing plan by several days, and blamed that delay for adding $20 million in high interest payments to taxpayers' bill.

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