Lon Monk, a former chief of staff to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, pleaded not guilty in the Blagojevich corruption case today. He is charged with one count of wire fraud.
However, federal prosecutors said Monk is cooperating with authorities and will take the stand as a government witness if the case goes to trial. Another former Blagojevich chief of staff, John Harris, is also known to be cooperating with the government.
I think Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass’s nickname for Blagojevich — “Dead Meat” — is pretty accurate if two of the former governor’s chiefs of staff are willing to testify against their former boss. The question is, will Harris be just as forthcoming with information from his days as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s chief of staff? It seems logical for the feds to try getting it out of him as part of a plea deal.
It is also worth remembering that Roland Burris, who is a U.S. senator thanks to Blagojevich’s tainted appointment power, testified before the Illinois House impeachment committee that he approached Monk (who at that point was a lobbyist with close ties to Blagojevich) about getting more state business for his law firm and, oh yeah, he is interested in President Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, too.
The bottom line is there are multiple people who ought to be squirming after hearing Monk and Harris are cooperating with the government. I can’t wait for all the dirty laundry to be aired. The day of reckoning approaches for at least some of the corrupt politicians in Illinois.