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Is Another Blago Aide Flipping?

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 6, 2009 3:20PM

Both the Sun-Times and the Tribune are reporting that sources close to the Blagojevich case say that former gubernatorial Christopher Kelly may be ready to begin cooperating with federal prosecutors. Kelly, who was a close friend and confidant of the former governor, plead guilty in January to federal tax-fraud charges for hiding gambling losses. Prosecutors have jacked up the pressure on Kelly recently, charging him with taking kickbacks in a scheme to rip off United and American Airlines at O'Hare airport.

Aside from the tax-fraud and kickback charges, Kelly's role as the owner of BCI Roofing, which holds city contracts for work at O'Hare as part of the airport expansion project. City contracting at O'Hare is part of an ongoing investigation by both the city's inspector general and federal prosecutors.

John Harris, John Wyma, and Alonzo "Lon" Monk, three of the ex-governor's former chiefs of staff are all expected to be witnesses against Blagojevich. Tony Rezko, who was convicted last year of fraud and bribery, is also reportedly giving prosecutors information that may be used against Blagojevich. Kelly's lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo to delay Kelly's sentencing until October. Federal prosecutors have objected to a delay in sentencing, although they've told the Tribune that neither side is "is fully preparing for trial" on the airport charges, indicating that a guilty plea may be forthcoming. Kelly's testimony, along with Rezko's, is believed to be a key part of the case against Blagojevich.

According to the Sun-Times, there's also a helluva lot of evidence against Blagojevich: prosecutors have given the defense 400 hours of taped phone calls and at least one million pages in documents.

There are an additional 300 boxes of documents Blagojevich's lawyers can go through, another 2 million documents involved in the case and at least another 500 hours of recorded phone calls that were deemed not pertinent, lawyers in the case say. The evidence was so voluminous, it came with a 185-page index.