No wonder Blagojevich needed money

The Illinois governor reportedly owes more than $500,000 to a law firm that now refuses to represent him because of the debt.

By Alex Koppelman
December 12, 2008 3:37AM (UTC)
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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in more trouble than we knew. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Blagojevich already owes more than $500,000 for legal fees  -- and that's before the news that broke this week. 

"Earlier this year, Mr. Blagojevich, strapped for cash and burdened by a years-long federal investigation into his administration, stopped paying a portion of the millions of dollars in legal fees owed to the law firm Winston & Strawn," the Journal says, continuing:


It is unclear whether Mr. Blagojevich's legal bills are for personal or campaign work or for both. Campaign filings show Winston & Strawn had charged the governor's campaign fund, Friends of Blagojevich, nearly $2 million in legal fees through the end of 2007. [A] Winston & Strawn partner said the amount that remains unpaid exceeds $500,000. "If he asked us to represent him, we'd say no," the partner said.

The paper notes that the government's complaint against Blagojevich alleges that the governor was repeatedly caught on tape discussing his family's financial situation as he explored the idea of selling off President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat.

A spokesman for Blagojevich says the governor remains "upbeat" and "positive" despite the many calls for him to resign.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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