Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Blagojevich's Bronx Bombers
Hmmmm. Everywhere convicted felon Eddie DeBartolo Jr. (left) shows up in Illinois, so does Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich's ever present top fundraiser, family provider, and general man about town.
First it was at the Illinois Tollway, where out of the blue a DeBartolo backed company was granted exclusive right to sell pizza at remodeled oases. That oddball contract caught the eye of Chicago ABC 7's Chuck Goudie, who did a three-part series in early 2005. He pointed out that Famous Famiglia was the official pizza of the New York Yankees, that Illinois pizza companies were quoted outrageously high lease prices and that the tollway refused to reveal Famous Famiglia's lease price.
Many questions come to mind, such as why would the Illinois Tollway give a NY chain such a deal in the heart of world famous Chicago pizza country? And why would it give it to DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who was caught attempting to bribe the governor of Louisiana?
Rezko's name surfaced at the tollway after Panda Express, one of his companies, also got an exclusive oases contract.Â The feds already are attempting to sort the oases contracts out.
Then, DeBartolo Jr. recently showed up as a potential buyer of Rezko's star-crossed property in Chicago's South Loop. Rezko, you recall, owned the land was planning to develop it until the city declined to give him tax breaks after it learned Rezko operated companies falsely claiming minority status at O'Hare International Airport.
So Rezko sold the land but still is involved in its development along with his former hand-picked CMS director Michael Rumman, who resigned about the time CMS was slapped with the worst audit in Illinois history by the Illinois Auditor General.
Just this week, DeBartolo backed out of the South Loop deal. Wonder where he and Rezko will show up next?