Monday, December 4, 2006

William Howell mystery deepens

One of the men Governor Rod Blagojevich was scheduled to meet with in October 2003 on his Shakedown Shuttle airplane trip to New Jersey/New York was East Coast pay-to-play figure William Howell, we previously reported here.

That same William Howell gave Blagojevich $10,000 in late 2003 and another $10,000 in early 2004. Then, curiously, Blagojevich amended his campaign disclosure earlier this year to change the company name on Howell's first donation. He removed the name of a company affiliated with scandals in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico and replaced it with another company name not connected to the scandals. Never before has Blagojevich amended his disclosure forms three years after the fact.

Why? It's not clear yet, but my guess is that Blagojevich's lawyers know the feds are looking at Howell's company and they are making a belated disclosure of some type.

Less than three weeks ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the FBI raided the offices of the company Howell is affiliated with.

As we said before, William Howell is a name to watch in future months on the fertile Illinois corruption landscape.

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