Monday, December 08, 2014

It Figures: Obama Pal Claims Government Prosecution Of Key Figures In State Agency He Ran Racially Motivated

During a courtroom hearing in Springfield, Illinois today, a Chicago Sun-Times reporter described the scene as "explosive" before a federal judge formally ruled that one of President Barack Obama's closest friends, Dr. Eric Whitaker, could be treated as a hostile witness if he is called to testify by federal prosecutors at the trial of a Chicago man charged with defrauding taxpayers out of millions of dollars of federal grant money he was awarded to promote AIDS awareness during Whitaker's tenure as Illinois Department of Health director. Whitaker complained during the hearing before Judge Richard Mills that the government's prosecution appeared to be racially motivated. "I am concerned about that," Whitaker said. "Almost everybody whose been indicted or scrutinized has been African American."
Incredibly, Whitaker urged Judge Mills not to deem him a hostile witness after questioning federal prosecutors' motivations in investigation the misuse of federal grant monies, which has already netted the conviction of numerous people he hired to work at the state agency he ran, including his former chief of staff, with whom both he and the man on trial in the case, Leon Dingle, Jr., allegedly had an extra-marital affair. "I'm angry but not hostile," Whitaker told the judge. "Personally, I'm upset about the process and how I've been made to look like I'm on trial." Whitaker's testimony lasted for about two hours Monday afternoon before Judge Mills concluded the government could treat him as a hostile witness, even though he earlier pledged to cooperate in the government's ongoing investigation of the agency he formally ran during the administration of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Whitaker, who had been working as a doctor at Cook Co. Hospital, was tapped by Blagojevich to run the agency after his close pal, Barack Obama, asked Tony Rezko, now a convicted political fixer, to use his influence in the administration to win the appointment for Whitaker. When questioned by a federal prosecutor about his relationship with Rezko, Whitaker asked the judge "if there should be an objection to the question." Judge Mills snapped at Whitaker, "Who's running the show here," the Sun-Times' Chris Fusco said, quoting Mills. Whitaker responded that he was just a doctor who was "unaware of the way of politics" at the time of his appointment. Whitaker denied he experienced personal financial problems during his tenure running the agency when questioned about it by prosecutors, who cited an e-mail written by his wife at the time. Whitaker admitted he called Dingle at the time he was indicted in order to be supportive and that his former chief of staff, with whom he acknowledged having more than a professional relationship, was also on the phone call. Whitaker insisted he had no idea that his chief of staff was getting kickbacks on the grant money awarded to Dingle, telling the judge he wasn't involved in the day-to-day management of the agency's grants.

Whitaker and his chief of staff both went to work in high-paying six-figure jobs at the University of Chicago Medical center, along with Michelle Obama, after he stepped down as the agency's director under a cloud. Whitaker controlled the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board's budget, which Rezko and other Blagojevich cronies controlled and used to solicit kickbacks and bribes, which were part of the public corruption investigations which culminated in Blagojevich's impeachment and later trial and conviction on various public corruption charges. Obama's controversial former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, alleged that Whitaker once offered him a $150,000 bribe to keep shut about his relationship with Obama, a bribe offer Wright said he turned down. Whitaker now works as a private consultant after both he and his former chief of staff were forced out of their jobs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Democrats exist to promote racial discord and dependence on government hand-outs.

Nothing new here. It's what they do.