- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- The Tungsten Groove to release first album featuring original songs (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
Judge grants Blagojevich jurors' request for transcript
CHICAGO -- Jurors in the trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked the judge Monday for a transcript of the entire testimony of a former deputy governor who criticized Blagojevich's attempt to raise campaign money through the brother of Rahm Emanuel.
Former deputy governor Bradley Tusk had testified that Blagojevich had planned to hold up a $2 million grant to a school in the district represented by Emanuel -- then a U.S. congressman and now White House chief of staff -- until Emanuel's Hollywood-agent brother held a fundraiser.
Tusk had said that he ignored a Blagojevich directive to deliver the message to Emanuel -- because, he said, he thought the plan was "both illegal and unethical."
After hearing objections from defense attorneys, Judge James B. Zagel granted the jurors' request but also said they should make their own assessment of Tusk's credibility. It wasn't immediately clear how soon jurors would receive the transcripts.
Jurors had returned to court Monday for their 13th day of deliberations. They created a stir last week with a note to Zagel signaling they're stuck on several of the 24 counts against Blagojevich. They say they've agreed to only two. Zagel told them to deliberate further on wire fraud counts that they had not considered.
But the note they sent Monday suggested that jurors may be looking at the first and broadest count against Blagojevich, that he engaged in racketeering. Part of that count deals with the school grant. They may also be looking at a separate count of attempted extortion.
Tusk said he started hearing from Emanuel and his staff in 2006 about the need to quickly get the grant to build a sports field. Tusk said when he talked to Blagojevich, the governor said he wouldn't release the money until Emanuel's brother had the fundraiser.
Afterward, Tusk said he complained to the chief ethics officer in Blagojevich's office.
"I believe I used the phrase, 'You need to get your client under control,"' Tusk said. "He said he would take care of it."
Nothing in the indictment of Blagojevich suggested that Emanuel -- now President Barack Obama's chief of staff -- was actually threatened.
Blagojevich, 53, has pleaded not guilty to all 24 counts, including charges he tried to sell or trade Obama's old Senate seat for a top job or campaign cash. His 54-year-old brother, Robert Blagojevich, a Nashville, Tenn., businessman, faces four counts and also pleaded not guilty.
Neither defendant was required to attend the hearing Monday.