Aide Testifies in Ill. Corruption Trial
CHICAGO (AP) _ The second-in-command of former Gov. George Ryan’s 1998 campaign staff testified Thursday that taxpayer dollars were used to buy cell phones, a TV set, a refrigerator, pencils, paper and a $1,000 ``monster″ shredder.
In his third day on the stand, Richard Juliano said campaign manager Scott Fawell ordered him to save money by outfitting Ryan’s campaign office with equipment and supplies from the secretary of state’s office. Ryan was secretary of state before becoming governor.
``People can just take stuff from here to keep the money down,″ Juliano quoted Fawell as saying.
Fawell, 45, and the Citizens for Ryan campaign committee are charged with racketeering for allegedly using state workers and state money for Ryan’s campaigns.
Ryan has not been charged in the scandal. He did not seek a second term, and left office Monday.
Fawell has said that he did nothing that hasn’t been done in Illinois politics for decades and that he had no way of knowing if overzealous followers went too far in the heat of the campaign.
Juliano has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and is cooperating with prosecutors.
The case is an outgrowth of the government’s four year investigation into the paying of bribes for driver’s licenses at the state motor vehicle agency, which is overseen by the secretary of state. The investigation so far has resulted in charges against 57 people, and 50 convictions.
Fawell’s attorneys, seeking to chip at Juliano’s credibility, asked him about two contracts his wife, Erika, got from Donald Udstuen, a longtime Ryan adviser and influential lobbyist, and direct mail consultant Roger Stanley.
Erika Juliano received a total of $18,000 from the contracts but did no work, her husband testified. She was willing to work but never got any assignments, he added.
Stanley is under indictment for allegedly bribing Udstuen, who has pleaded guilty to tax fraud in connection with alleged payoffs to a lobbyist. They and Stanley’s business partner Alan Drazek, who has pleaded guilty to laundering money, are expected to be called as witnesses against Fawell and the committee.