Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chicago Tribune reports that SEIU Illinois Council President Balanoff willing to testify against Blago

From the Chicago Tribune's Clout Street: Top labor leader cooperating in Blagojevich probe

Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 7:15 a.m.

In his first public comments about former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest two months ago, labor leader Tom Balanoff said he could be “a strong witness” for federal prosecutors who have charged the governor with trying to sell President Barack Obama’s old spot in the U.S. Senate.

Balanoff, the Illinois State Council president for the Service Employees International Union, was involved in secretly recorded conversations with Blagojevich regarding the Obama vacancy.

“We have fully cooperated with the U.S. attorney’s office. I believe I would be a strong witness for the U.S. attorney,” Balanoff said after a news conference Tuesday where his union endorsed state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) to replace Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in Congress.

SEIU was an early supporter of Blagojevich and his biggest campaign contributor. But Balanoff said he was not involved in any wrongdoing and does not fear the investigation into alleged corruption in state government.

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