Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pantagraph.com | News from Associated Press

Pantagraph.com | News from Associated Press:

Gotta wonder who this close knit group of friends was. What other Illinois Politicans and Public Officials may have been in just for the partying. No crimes, just the social events.
In a full day grilling star government witness Stuart Levine on Monday, defense attorney Dan Webb sought to convey to jurors that Levine - who claims he was in on the 2004 extortion plot - was a habitual liar and serial crook.

In some of his most salacious testimony, Levine described arranging marathon drug parties for a close-knit group of friends, often at the Chicago-area's Purple Hotel. He sometimes flew the group by private jet, at his expense, to drug binges elsewhere.

Prosecutors say Cellini and Levine, together with two Blagojevich insiders - Tony Rezko and Chris Kelly - tried to force Rosenberg into making the donation by threatening to withhold $220 million in state pension funds from Rosenberg's investment company.

Levine, a board member of the $30 billion Teachers Retirement System that oversaw the pensions, is the only scheduled witness to claim direct knowledge of Cellini's involvement - and so the government's case may hinge on whether jurors believe him.

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