A former chief of staff and longtime friend of ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich pleaded guilty to wire fraud Tuesday and promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their corruption case against the former governor.
Alonzo “Lon” Monk, 51, said that as Blagojevich’s top aide he had witnessed efforts to shake down roadbuilders, a hospital executive and a racetrack owner for hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions for the governor.
Monk said that even before Blagojevich was elected there was talk of using the powers of the governor’s office to raise a cash horde that would eventually be divided up among an inner circle of key advisers.
Monk’s decision to cooperate and take the witness stand if called upon at Blagojevich’s trial could be a devastating blow to the former governor because the one-time chief of staff might provide jurors with a firsthand account of the corruption.