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Blago Rarely in Office, Sometimes Hid in Bathroom


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Chicago Tribune:

:lol: :lol:
Aide: Blago rarely in office, sometimes hid in bathroom

The jury this morning is hearing more testimony about how inattentive Gov. Rod Blagojevich could be on the job.

On the stand is Robert Greenlee, whom Blagojevich promoted to deputy governor in June 2008 -- just months before Blagojevich’s arrest.

Greenlee said Blagojevich rarely came in to the office -- generally just two to eight hours a week.

Like other former top aides and advisers to Blagojevich, Greenlee said that he quickly found he had to tread lightly when telling the then-governor something he didn’t want to hear. Blagojevich froze out advisers who told him bad news, Greenlee said.

One example, Greenlee said, was John Filan, who had long been the architect of Blagojevich’s budgets. Greenlee said Filan insisted on talking to Blagojevich on budgetary issues, and Blagojevich didn’t want to, possibly because the state’s finances were getting increasingly bleak.

Blagojevich would go out of his way to avoid Filan, hiding in the bathroom and holding up in his office until Filan left, Greenlee recalled.

Greenlee said he found it “relatively difficult” to get Blagojevich to focus on important issues facing the office, and the former deputy said he often had to track Blagojevich down to get him to meet deadlines to consider whether to sign or veto legislation.

Once, Greenlee said, he had to force himself into a Blagojevich family dinner at the Southport Lanes bowling alley and restaurant in order to get the governor to make decisions on pending legislation. At that dinner, with the governor’s wife and children in tow, Greenlee forced Blagojevich to review 20 pieces of legislation.

--Bob Secter
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