Saturday, December 13, 2008

Would new AG Eric Holder exit Chicago corruption probe? Does Eric Holder know Who John "No Nose" DiFronzo is ?

The AP reports:
If confirmed as attorney general, Eric Holder may have to consider removing himself from overseeing the Chicago corruption probe that ensnared Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, legal experts say.

Holder was a co-chairman of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, joining in 2007 when the long-running investigation focused on a businessman who had been among the biggest fundraisers for Obama and Blagojevich.

The legal ethics issue that Holder may have to deal with, called recusal, could arise if Holder had conversations about the Chicago investigation with Obama or his staff.

"It's reasonable to ask Holder to recuse because he is a prospective witness," said Ron Rotunda, author of a book entitled "Legal Ethics: The Lawyer's Deskbook on Professional Responsibility."

"If I were Holder I would just recuse myself from the whole thing in order to ensure the integrity of the process," added Rotunda, who was a paid consultant in independent counsel Ken Starr's perjury and obstruction investigation of President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

The United States Attorneys' Manual governs the conduct of federal prosecutors. It requires Justice Department lawyers to withdraw from matters where a conflict of interest exists or where there is an appearance of a conflict of interest or loss of impartiality.
The AP forgets to mention a bigger Eric Holder-Rod Blagojevich connection.CBS TV Chicago reports on Eric Holder:
Four-and-a-half years ago, he held a news conference in Chicago at the Thompson Center. He had accepted a $300,000 assignment from Rod Blagojevich: Should a company whose chairman had been fined for violating gambling rules in Illinois be allowed to build a half-billion dollar casino in Rosemont?

In the end, it didn't happen. Holder got into a jurisdictional dispute with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and he did not get the free and total access to all the documents he wanted.

CBS 2 reported this fall that sources told us federal agents believe they've already gathered enough evidence to warrant an indictment of Gov. Blagojevich. They add that a grand jury could act before the end of the year.

Should he become U.S. Attorney General, Holder could potentially be asked to sign off on key decisions regarding any prosecution of Blagojevich. Holder now appears to regret getting involved at all with Blagojevich in the ill-fated casino investigation.

The Rosemont Casino has been held up because of Chicago Mob ties.The Chicago Sun-Times explains:
The mayor of Rosemont, whose suburb is among three finalists vying to land a casino, is giving back a campaign contribution from an allegedly mob-linked company.

Mayor Bradley Stephens' action follows an inquiry by the Chicago Sun-Times and the Better Government Association.

The company -- D&P Construction -- gave $400 to the Regular Republican Voters League of Leyden Township, headed by Stephens, on Nov. 8, 2007.

In 2001, the Illinois Gaming Board linked the company to "individuals who have been identified as known members of organized crime."

Stephens said the group's treasurer mistakenly deposited D&P's check, which was among hundreds to come in after a fund-raiser.

"She was almost in tears when I questioned her, 'How did this get through the cracks?' " he said.

The contribution -- along with others examined as part of a Sun-Times/BGA analysis -- is prompting new questions about an old subject: whether Rosemont is a suitable home for the state's last-available casino license.

In 2004, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan documented ties between Bradley Stephens' father, then-Rosemont Mayor Donald E. Stephens, and allegedly mob-linked individuals.

D&P -- whose owner, Josephine DiFronzo, did not respond to requests for comment -- was a focus of a Gaming Board disciplinary case that stopped Emerald Casino Inc. from building a floating gambling barge in Rosemont in 2001.
You say who is Josephine DiFronzo? This lawsuit explains:
Gaming Board investors also learned that one of the subcontractors working on the casino site was D&P Construction. The owner of that company, Josephine DiFronzo, is married to Peter DiFronzo and is the sister-in-law of John DiFronzo, both of whom have been connected to the mob, according to the gaming board.
John DiFronzo is the head of The Chicago Mob.One has to wonder how Eric Holder feels about "accepting" The Chicago Mob? Just the other day, Rod Blagojevich was accused of paying "street tax" to the Chicago Mob years ago.For a look at Rod Blagojevich's best friend Dan Stefanski who the Chicago Sun-Times said:
A former union leader who was hired for a six-figure-salary state job by his boyhood friend, Gov. Blagojevich, has ties to reputed organized crime figures and once was a bookie, informants have told Teamsters Union anti-corruption investigators.

Daniel E. Stefanski ran Teamsters Local 726, representing hundreds of city truck drivers, from the mid-1990s until landing a top job with the Illinois Department of Transportation in April 2003, several months after Blagojevich took office.
We've got a feeling Rod Blagojevich knows who John DiFronzo is and so should Eric Holder.