Report: Blagojevich recorded in federal probe

Federal investigators have made covert tape recordings of Gov. Rod Blagojevich as part of their corruption investigation of his administration, according to a published report.

Federal investigators have made covert tape recordings of Gov. Rod Blagojevich as part of their corruption investigation of his administration, according to a published report. (A Chicago newspaper) reported Friday that one of the governor’s former aides cooperated with investigators to help get those recordings. (The newspaper) cited unnamed sources who said lobbyist John Wyma is cooperating with investigators. Wyma, 42, was chief of staff when Blagojevich was in Congress and is a close friend of the governor. The Associated Press left a message with Wyma’s attorney seeking comment Friday. Wyma’s name has been tied to aspects of the federal investigation, including a recent subpoena. In October, federal prosecutors subpoenaed records from Mokena-based Provena Hospital regarding Wyma’s work for the hospital. Wyma was registered to represent Provena when it got approval from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board in April 2004 to proceed with development of an open-heart surgery unit in Elgin. The federal subpoena sought information on the hospital’s push for state approval of the heart program and a $25,000 donation the company’s for-profit affiliate gave to Blagojevich’s campaign fund. In 2005, Wyma was involved in a real estate deal with the governor’s wife, Patricia Blagojevich, who has a home-based real estate company. Wyma client Mark Wight sold a $650,000 condominium to Wyma, paying the first lady a $30,000 commission. Wight’s architecture firm later won $10 million in no-bid state contracts for tollway work. Neither Blagojevich or his wife have been charged with any wrongdoing, and he has repeatedly denied doing anything illegal. The AP left a message with his office seeking comment Friday. During the trial of political fundraiser Tony Rezko, Blagojevich’s name came up repeatedly in testimony regarding schemes to trade state favors for campaign contributions. Rezko was convicted in June. Blagojevich took office in 2003 as a reformer, replacing Republican Gov. George Ryan, who is serving a 6╜-year prison sentence for racketeering. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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