Rep. Hoffman referenced in Rezko trial

Ann Knef May 2, 2008, 4:21am

Rep. Hoffman

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville) was mentioned in the corruption trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko as having been present in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Chicago office in the summer of 2002 shortly before the governor accepted a $25,000 campaign check from state job-seeker Ali Ata, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

Hoffman, described by Ata as part of Blagojevich's "kitchen cabinet brain trust," later instructed Rezko that a certain state job was reserved for a downstater, according to Ata's testimony.

Rezko is accused of using his influence in Blagojevich's administration to appoint members to state boards, among other things. He is charged with fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering. Prosecutors say he profited from various deals or directed donations to his favorite candidates, including Blagojevich and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Ata pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI about how he got his job as executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority.

In March, the Record reported that Hoffman was ranked the fifth most productive "bundler" of campaign contributions for Blagojevich.

Prosecutors in the Rezko trial submitted an FBI analysis which showed that Hoffman helped raise $800,000 for Blagojevich -- more than $500,000 coming from trial lawyers.

The bundlers' list also reportedly showed how Hoffman's fund-raising for Blagojevich compared to other heavy producers:

  • Milan Petrovich, $2 million

  • Tony Rezko, $1.4 million

  • Dick Mell, $1 million

  • John Wynan, $1 million

  • Hoffman, $800,000

  • Jim DeLeo, $400,000

  • Al Ronan, $400,000

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