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Feds Continue Scrutiny of Mrs. Blago

By Prescott Carlson in News on Oct 19, 2008 4:00PM

We might have to add a new category to the Rod Blagojevich Death Pool -- "Before/After Patti Gets Indicted". Patti Blagojevich has been laying low at her new job with the Chicago Christian Industrial League, but that hasn't lessened the heat federal investigators are putting on her and her former real estate company, River Realty.

Besides already known ties to real estate deals with convicted developer Tony Rezko, it's now coming out that another Chicago developer, Virgil Tiran, referred over $100,000 in real estate commissions to the first lady. Tiran and his companies have also donated over $20,000 to the governor's campaign fund. In what must be some kind of huge, fortunate coincidence, in 2003 Tiran's parents' company, Diane Home Care, which provides in-home care for the disabled, saw a $142,000 boost in state funds compared to 2002, and in 2007 the Human Services Department awarded the company a $1.1 million contract. While it's unsure if this dealing is part of the federal probe, it's sure to catch somebody's attention.

Sources who spoke to the Sun-Times on condition of anonymity said agents had asked questions about Patti Blagojevich's real estate dealings with Rezko. The work got under way in July 2003 -- about six months after the governor began accepting Rezko's recommendations to place people on state boards and about eight months after Patti Blagojevich landed a $47,000 commission from a Rezko land deal.

[S-T, Trib]