23Nov/120

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase talks about Rezko’s friend and sponsor

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Trib reporter John Chase knows much about Dr. Ronald Michael, the mystery man pictured with George W. Bush at a fundraiser sponsored by Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

Chase told a source that Tony Rezko lived with the Michael family when he came to Chicago from Lebanon as a young man.  Chase said that Michael was involved with Rezko in securing reconstruction contracts in Iraq.  And, that Michael was trying to get Federal and Illinois state funding for a project involving property he owned in Iraq.

When pressed for details, Chase would not disclose where the monies would come from, nor for what purposes they’d be granted.

Chase was also the first to confirm that the “John Doe” filed lawsuit against the Sun Times was filed by Dr. Ronald MichaelFurthermore, Chase confirmed that Michael threatened to sue Chase and the Trib if he, Chase, outed him as Mr. Doe.

Michael's threat worked.

John Chase, who has much to tell about the mystery man who, according to Chase, gave convicted felon Tony Rezko his start in Chicago, has never told Tribune readers what he knows.

Oh, did we mention that Michael was on the Blagojevich $25,000 Donor Clout List? And that Michael’s name also appeared on a list of possible appointees to the Illinois Health Planning Board with the initials “TR” next to it?

Michael was not appointed to the Planning Board, but his friends Dr. Fortunee Massuda, Dr. Michel Malek, and Dr. Imad Almanaseer were. 

Michael followed the banking route instead, and that venture will cost the FDIC over $3,000,000.  (Stand by, we’ll have more on the bank thing later.)

Why would someone who purports to be a "journalist and author" leave out such relevant, interesting and important information from his articles and book?

John, you saving the good stuff for a screenplay, or what?

Meanwhile, the Valarie Plame story is falling apart. Who will have the most interesting story there once-jailed New York Times journalist Judith Miller, or John Chase? 

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