Obama nominates Zachary Fardon to replace Patrick Fitzgerald, Fardon represented John Wyma Blagojevich friend crony, Wyma avoided prosecution by being witness
“Why did the Illinois Senate Health & Human Services Committee, with Obama as chairman, create and push Bill 1332, “Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act,” early in 2003, which reduced the number of members on the Board from 15 to 9, just prior to rigging by Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
From CNS News May 23, 2013.
“New federal prosecutor nominated for Chicago”
The Obama administration has picked a private attorney and former federal prosecutor who helped send former Illinois Gov. George Ryan to prison for corruption to head the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, Illinois’ senators announced Thursday.
Zachary Fardon would replace Patrick Fitzgerald, who stepped down last summer to enter private practice. Fitzgerald rose to national prominence during more than a decade in the office and successfully convicted two Illinois governors, including Ryan. The U.S. Senate must confirm President Barack Obama’s nomination of Fardon.
Both of Illinois’ senators, Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk, support the choice.
“Zachary Fardon will be an exceptional U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,” Durbin said in a news release announcing the nomination. “I spoke to him today and advised him that he’ll have to hit the ground running and immediately focus on daily gang and gun violence plaguing the streets of Chicago.”
Kirk called Fardon “an outstanding pick to continue Patrick Fitzgerald’s tradition of aggressively prosecuting criminal activity that threatens northern Illinois.”
The post is widely regarded as Chicago’s second-most powerful job, after the mayor. The chief prosecutor and around 170 assistant attorneys also have an impact beyond Illinois, including by handling major terrorism cases.
Fardon, a partner at the Chicago law firm Latham Watkins, was on the team of federal prosecutors who secured convictions against Ryan in 2006. In that case and in others, Fardon gained a reputation as an adept, quick-witted cross-examiner.
Fardon also served in the U.S. attorney’s office in Nashville, Tenn., and later entered private practice. Among his clients was John Wyma, a longtime lobbyist and friend of former Illinois Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose testimony helped convict Ryan of corruption.”
From the Chicago SunTimes July 27, 2010.
“Sam Adam Jr. has just accused President Barack Obama and his transition team of negotiating with Blagojevich.
The offer came from Rod to Tom Balanoff, Adam says. Balanoff brought it to Valerie Jarrett and word came back from Rahm Emanuel through John Wyma. It’s a negotiation they were in, he said of Obama and Blagojevich.”
From ABC News December 12, 2008.
“Blagojevich Confidant Turned Informant”
“For years, John Wyma has been one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s closest allies. He served as Blagojevich’s chief of staff in Congress and was a key advisor in his 2002 campaign for governor. When his former boss took over the statehouse, Wyma remained a central fundraiser and counselor, but also had Blagojevich’s ear as a lobbyist. But now this longtime advisor and old friend has become one of the most significant cooperators in the government’s efforts to put Blagojevich behind bars.
Wyma, 41, was close to much of the alleged wrongdoing during the feds’ five-year probe, and he remains a subject of the government’s investigation into the Illinois Health Planning Facilities Board, according to the criminal complaint for Blagojevich. But Wyma’s turn from confidant to informant ultimately inched prosecutors to the governor’s most recent — and most brazen — alleged attempts to trade political favors for campaign cash, the complaint states.
A fixture of the Blagojevich’s inner circle, Wyma as a lobbyist routinely traveled with the governor, flying with him during official state trips more than a dozen times during his first term, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
For years, John Wyma has been one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s closest allies. He served as Blagojevich’s chief of staff in Congress and was a key advisor in his 2002 campaign for governor. When his former boss took over the statehouse, Wyma remained a central fundraiser and counselor, but also had Blagojevich’s ear as a lobbyist. But now this longtime advisor and old friend has become one of the most significant cooperators in the government’s efforts to put Blagojevich behind bars.
A friend of the governor for more than a decade, on the day before his arrest Blagojevich told reporters he and Wyma talked football the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
“You can’t get much closer than they are to each other,” said Rich Miller who runs the Illinois political insider blog Capitol Fox. “[Wyma's] a lobbyist but he’s almost never in Springfield lobbying legislators. He virtually only lobbies the governor at his home in Chicago.”
Wyma could not be reached for comment, despite multiple calls and visits to his office and addresses listed in his name. His attorney, former federal prosecutor Zachary Fardon, who helped put former Illinois Governor George Ryan in jail, said in an email statement today that “There are news stories indicating that my client, John Wyma, is “Individual A” in the criminal complaint against Governor Rod Blagojevich. Mr. Wyma has made efforts to provide federal investigators with truthful information regarding the matters under investigation and will continue to do so. Out of respect for the ongoing process, we are making no further statements related to these matters at this time.”
Those efforts began just months ago, in October, when, according to the criminal complaint released in the wake of the governor ‘s arrest Tuesday, Wyma — believed to be the person identified in documents only as Individual A — began talking with the FBI. The timing hardly seems a coincidence: it dovetails with the weeks, according to published accounts, that Wyma was named in a subpoena sent to former client Provena Health. The hospital company had donated money to the governor ‘s campaign shortly after receiving a favorable ruling.
Whatever his role in the hospital donations, Wyma’s cooperation soon proved fruitful to prosecutors. According to the criminal complaint, Wyma is one of the key sources to the source of the tip that Blagojevich is using the final months of the year to raise funds through payoffs before the new state ethics law goes into effect in January. That law would sharply limit any individual or entity with state contracts worth more than $50,000 from donating to the governor’s campaign coffers.”
From the McHenry County blog October 24, 2008.
“Health Facilities Planning Board Controversy Again”
“Last time it was the Mercy Health System’s attempt to obtain the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board’s approval.
Joseph Levine, Jim Ryan’s biggest fund raiser turned Rod Blagojevich buddy, fixed the favorable outcome after his contractor buddy Jacob Kiferbaum got the nod from Mercy to build the Crystal Lake hospital. Kiferbaum agreed to kick back to Levine and Tony Rezko.
To put it in the words of the U.S. Attorney’s press release on the Tony Rezko indictment:
“Rezko and Levine also were seeking to obtain a kickback of at least $1 million from contractor Jacob Kiferbaum, whose construction company was to build a new facility for Mercy Hospital in Crystal Lake, Illinois, if that facility received approval from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, on which Levine sat.”
In any event, this time the controversy is down the Fox Valley in Elgin and concerns Provena St. Joe’s being granted permission to conduct open heart surgery after hiring John Wyma.
The gist of the Chicago Tribune story by Ray Long and Jeff Coen is that Provena hired Wyma. About a month after having gotten permission to expand its medical service, Provena’s for-profit arm made a $25,000 contribution to Governor Blagojevich’s campaign fund.”