Alert: Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn caught telling the truth!


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn recently was caught doing something that has his employer and the U.S. Attorney's Office very upset.

He told the truth!

In an unguarded moment of honesty, Zorn let fly that the Chicago Tribune did in fact warn Rod Blagojevich that the feds were recording him.

You might say Zorn had a "Gruber" moment, and like Jonathan Gruber, he hoped it would go un-noticed.

Here's what Zorn had to say about IP2P's reporting of what he said:

"Not that it matters, really, but I didn't know I was speaking on the record for 'Ernie Souchak,' the brave blogger who has adopted the pseudonym of a John Belushi character. Next time you might want to say you're seeking a quote for publication. Though scrolling through the last year's worth of entries there is not a single reader comment on any of the posts on this blog, so I'm not sure anyone is going to see what I said anyway."

So Zorn claims he thought he was speaking off the record when he said that the Tribune warned Blago.

And now that he's clearly on the record, he's hoping no one will see what he had to say.

God forbid Zorn print the truth in his own column at the Tribune.

No, instead Eric "Gruber" Zorn is praying for a "Change of Subject."

Hey Eric, here's an idea: let's talk about the sealed Blago wiretap tapes the Tribune won't share with the public.

Developing story...

Related: Chicago Tribune reporters work for Federal Government



Eric Zorn: John Chase did not warn Blagojevich – the Chicago Tribune did


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has come out in defense of his "hilarious" position that the phone call Tribune reporter John Chase made to the Blagojevich camp on December 4, 2008 did not serve as a warning.

Zorn's reasoning: Blagojevich would have read that he was being recorded by the feds in a Tribune article the very next morning.

Zorn was asked:

"Do you understand that Robert and Rod canceled a meeting with Jesse Jackson Jr.'s money man, Raghuveer Nayak, due to Chase's phone call?"

He replied:

"And do you understand they would've canceled that meeting anyway because of what was in the paper that morning?"

So let me get this straight, Eric. Your contention is that John Chase's late night phone call did not warn Blago that the feds were recording him - but that the article the Tribune published the following morning did.

Ok, Eric, have it your way.

However, now that you have reluctantly conceded that the Chicago Tribune did in fact warn Robert and Rod Blagojevich, perhaps you can explain why former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was OK with the Trib's decision.

More to come... 

Related: Robert Blagojevich dodged going to prison


Robert Blagojevich: Chicago Tribune warned my brother about federal wiretap


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Robert Blagojevich recently acknowledged that Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase warned his brother, Rod Blagojevich, that the feds were recording him.

Blagojevich emerged in response to Tribune reporter Eric Zorn's ridiculous position that:

"Chase wasn't warning Blago he was being recorded, he was telling him a story was running the next day about him being recorded."

Wow, Eric. Are you joking?

Here's what Robert Blagojevich called Zorn's assertion that Chase did not warn Rod: "Hilarious!"

Keep in mind that Robert canceled his planned meeting the following morning with Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s money man, Raghuveer Nayak, as a result of Chase's late night phone call.

A meeting whose sole purpose was to hammer out the terms of Jackson's purchase of the U.S Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama!

Remember Robert was one of the biggest benefactors of Chase's infamous phone call to the Blago camp on December 4, 2008.

So if he considers it a warning, who is Eric Zorn - or anyone else to say it was not?


RelatedPatrick Fitzgerald’s “not not denial” that he warned Blagojevich

                    U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald named as source of leak.

         Robert Blagojevich dodged going to prison




Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase goes on the record: Why he warned Blagojevich about the wiretap


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase went on record saying that the reason he made the late night phone call warning Rod Blagojevich that federal agents were recording him was because he "did not want to get scooped on the story".

Chase's ridiculous statement made it very clear that he was not expecting to be asked any common sense follow-up questions.

Big mistake, John!

Keep in mind that the Tribune had been cooperating for 2 months with U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office and had agreed not to run a story about the wiretap on Blagojevich.

But when Chase was asked what happened on Dec. 4, 2008 for the Tribune to abruptly change from cooperating with the feds to exposing their wiretap, he was at a loss to give a coherent answer.

Chase was then asked if he or anyone else at the Tribune called Patrick Fitzgerald or anyone else at the U.S. Attorney's Office to let them know that the Tribune was going to expose their wiretap that night?

He was stumped, and refused to answer this simple yes or no question.

Here is why Chase could not answer that particular question.

If Chase had called Patrick Fitzgerald and informed him that the Tribune was now going to expose the feds' wiretap on Blago, wouldn't Fitz try to convince the Trib to wait just one more day?

After all, Blagojevich's brother, Robert, was scheduled to meet with Raghuveer Nayak, Jesse Jackson Jr's money man, to discuss the terms of Jackson's purchase of Barack Obama's U.S Senate seat the very next day.

Blagojevich and Jackson would both have been caught red-handed if Chase had not made that call warning Blago.

On the other hand, if Chase had not called the prosecutors office Fitzgerald would have been justifiably furious at the Tribune for derailing the biggest case of his career.

Instead, Fitzgerald thanked the Tribune for its cooperation, and later gave Chase and Jeff Coen access to the sealed wiretap tapes and transcripts even though the two Trib reporters blew his wiretap out of the water.

All indications are that Fitzgerald was quite OK with Chase warning Blago that night. But obviously Chase can't tell us that.

Even more telling: Chase did not deny that he knew Robert Blagojevich and Nayak were going to meet the next day before he made that late night phone call.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Chase is having a difficult time keeping track of his lies. In his book, "Golden", he contradicts himself by saying that he was chosen by Tribune editors to make the phone call to Blago.

So which is it, John?

Did you:

(A) make the call to inform Blago that the feds' were recording him because you wanted to be remembered as the reporter who blew Fitzgerald's case?


(B) make the call because your editors who had been cooperating with Fitzgerald told you to?

It's the simple questions that often prove to be the most difficult for liars to answer.

When Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki was asked why she was not asking these questions, she replied: "No reporter wants to make another reporter look bad."

Even when it means not reporting the truth.

Wow! "Only in Chicago."


Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki surrenders her integrity to Rod Blagojevich


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Chicago Sun Times reporter Natasha Korecki has just completely surrendered any integrity she had left as a journalist to the man who once predicted she would sell her soul: Rod Blagojevich.

The Sun Times' latest and perhaps most transparently blatant maneuver to help pave the way for Blago's imminent premature release from prison was penned by Korecki and published in Politico Magazine.

Letter From Chicago

Will Rod Be Spared?
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in jail, but maybe not for long.
July 01, 2014

It was a warm spring day in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood in 2008 and I was heading with family to one of my favorite brunch places, Café Selmarie, on a Sunday. Walking directly in my path was then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, one of his daughters a few paces in front of him. His security in tow, the second-term governor of Illinois walked with purpose through the section of town teeming with yuppies and young families. His head held high, Blagojevich was wearing a dark Polo shirt and a broad smile.

I hesitated before approaching him, then thought: He’s right here, I have to do it.

He cheerfully greeted me when I approached, not realizing who I was.

The federal criminal trial of his former friend, top adviser and fundraiser Tony Rezko, was to begin the next day. Rezko was facing wire fraud and money laundering charges that included allegations that he used his clout as a Blagojevich adviser in various kickback schemes. I happened to be covering the trial for the Chicago Sun-Times. Did the governor have any comment?

Blagojevich’s face turned cold.

His security guard intervened, telling me to take my questions to the press office. Then, in typical Blagojevich fashion, he brushed his security aside, dramatically stepping forward and declaring he would handle this.

Blagojevich stared right at me.

“Good luck keeping your integrity in your profession,” he said in a tone thick with condescension. Then, pausing for effect: “Really, good luck.”

Continue reading.....

The announcement of Blago's release must be very close at hand for the Sun Times to have arranged to have Korecki submit her latest drivel on the subject of Blago directly to a national publication in Washington DC. read by the political elite.

The main purpose of Korecki's article, titled "Letter From Chicago" is simply to inform them and us that the announcement of Blago's early release from prison is coming very soon.

And that Korecki will be doing the follow-up propaganda interviews and articles to smooth Blago's release over with the commoners.

Therefore positioning Korecki to be the person who helps assimilate Blago back into public life.

Here's how she'll do it: by conducting rehearsed interviews, carefully avoiding any questions that would risk exposing the truth about the extent of the corruption in Illinois, and the deal Blago made for his freedom.

Nothing new, just "The Chicago Way".

We've seen it before with her colleagues Michael Sneed and Lynn Sweet.

Now it's Korecki's turn to carry the water and control the message by conveying a false narrative to the gullible masses.

However, in this case, IP2P is exclusively aware of some comments that Korecki made during the course of the Blago trials that are going to be very problematic for her and the Chicago Sun Times.

Let's see how deep a hole Natasha wants to dig for herself.


Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Coen’s own personal “Tell-Tale Heart” got him arrested


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief 

The recent arrest of Chicago Tribune reporter Jeff Coen for deliberately causing $1,500 worth of damage to a CTA train has many asking: Why?

What makes a 43-year-old "adult" do such a bizarre thing?

We at IP2P have every reason to believe the answer is very simple: it's a cry for help. Coen is experiencing his own version of the ageless Edger Allen Poe classic "Tell-Tale Heart" and it is taking its toll on him.

You see, Coen is living a big lie, and he fears his secret will soon be fully exposed.

Coen's troubles started when he agreed to fabricate stories surrounding the Blagojevich investigation and consequent trials.

Remember, Coen was the co-author of the article used as an excuse to warn Rod Blagojevich that his friend and former chief-of-staff, John Wyma, was cooperating with the feds and that Blagojevich was being recorded.

From there, Coen sought to cash in on lies he was asked to tell by telling even bigger whoppers in a book.

You might remember that work of fiction: "Golden". You know, the one in which Coen and his co-author, John Chase, claimed they had copies of all the Blagojevich wiretap recordings and that they had listened to all of the them.

Well as those lies have begun to unravel, so has Jeffrey.

The thought of being exposed for writing a book filled with lies has been weighing heavily on Coen's mind. (We know this for a fact. ) And there is a real possibility that Coen has come to realize that being exposed as a habitual liar is inevitable.

The fear of being found out resulted in Coen's obvious mental breakdown, causing him to go ballistic on a CTA train.

Let's all hope that Jeff accepts the counseling that has been offered to him, and heeds the wisdom of another ageless classic, "The truth will set you free", before it is too late and he seriously hurts someone.

Jeff, we hear your cry for help. Now just tell the truth...

Human Behavior Consultant Virginia Clemm Contributed


Was giving “FBI informant” John Thomas TIF money legal?


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

We all know that giving convicted felon and "FBI informant" John Thomas tax increment financing (TIF) funds was a colossally stupid thing to do.

But the real question is: was it legal?

John Thomas, who is best known for wearing a wire for the feds in the cases against Tony Rezko and Ald. Ike Carothers, is in federal custody for stealing 370K of TIF money from the village of Riverdale IL.

Chicago Sun-Times
Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases

Smooth-talking felon John Thomas once said the thing he loved about Chicago was, it was “the most forgiving” place for a convicted crook.

He’d better hope so.

The 51-year-old real estate developer — who got a second chance at life and dodged a prison term by wearing a wire against disgraced political fundraiser Tony Rezko as well as former Ald. Ike Carothers — has been up to his old tricks, federal prosecutors say.

Arrested at dawn on Good Friday at his downtown condo, Thomas stole $370,000 from the south suburban village of Riverdale that was meant for the development of Riverdale Marina, a federal indictment alleges.

Continue reading .... Feds arrest former mole in Rezko, Carothers cases

OK. It's no real surprise that a habitual criminal like Thomas would steal a pile of money put right in front of him.

But who in their right mind would put a pile of taxpayer money in front of a convicted felon knowing full well that he would steal it?

That kind of stupidity can't be legal!

After initially pleading not guilty to all charges against him, Thomas has abruptly changed his mind and will plead guilty on May 16.

So what's up? Did Thomas make another deal with the feds? Are there more arrests to follow in the Riverdale Marina scam?

But when feds were asked these questions, they refused to comment.

The U.S. Attorney's office also refuses to explain why it allowed John Thomas' three-year probation from his previous felony conviction to be terminated after only one year.

Is it just a coincidence that Thomas had his probation terminated two years early, which allowed him the opportunity to steal taxpayer money in the Riverdale Marina deal?

Why would the feds allow this?

One thing is for sure. If Thomas' sentence of probation was not prematurely terminated in 2011, his problems today would be exponentially greater.

To start, he would be facing much longer prison time.

Clearly there is more going on here than meets the eye....


Feds finally announce probation “deal” for Obama associate


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

We told you in September 2012 that Obama associate Daniel S. Mahru would receive a sentence of probation instead of jail time for his silence.

After delaying the inevitable for 18 months, the U.S. Department of Justice has proven IP2P right once again by sentencing Mahru to probation.

Like we said in 2012:

DoJ silences Obama associate Daniel S. Mahru with his freedom

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

Illinoispaytoplay.com (IP2P) has learned that Daniel S. Mahru, former business partner of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, made a deal with the Department of Justice (DoJ) for his silence.

IP2P is the first to report that on, October 4 2012, Daniel S. Mahru will receive probation at his sentencing hearing. IP2P has also learned that this is being done to insure Mahru will not speak of crimes, of which he has knowledge, that implicate Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Allison Davis, Tony Rezko and others. (Remember Tony recently saying he committed crimes for which Fitzgerald did not charge him.)

IP2P is also investigating the circumstances surrounding meetings that took place where Daniel T Frawley and Daniel S Mahru (both convicted felons) met with author Jerome Corsi in Chicago to discuss secret meetings between Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Tony Rezko, (now Governor) Pat Quinn, and others.

Mahru is unwilling to talk about what was discussed at those meetings. Could that have anything to do with his probation deal?

The DoJ and (now former) U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald protected Eric Holder, Barack Obama and a host of other criminals that occupy high offices in our state and federal government.

Brenda J Elliot at rbo2.com recently posted an article suggesting how important Mahru’s silence is to the DoJ.

Where's that special prosecutor when you need him?


The real question is why announce Mahru's probation now?

Well, because it's time to tie up all those loose ends.

So, the only announcement left that Eric Holder's Dept. of Justice needs to make is Rod Blagojevich will be released early from prison.

In other words, it's time to complete the "deal" that will insure Blago's continued silence.

It's the Chicago way.

And remember, the Chicago way is not just "who you know". It's also "what you know about who".


Blagojevich attorney caught on wiretap fixing case!


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

Blagojevich attorney Michael Ettinger was caught on a wiretap trying to bribe a cop in order to fix a criminal case in Illinois.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
John GERVASI, Michael Ettinger, and Charles Soteras, Defendants.


WILLIAM T. HART, District Judge.

The August 1982 Grand Jury returned a seven count indictment against the defendants John Gervasi ("Gervasi"), Michael Ettinger ("Ettinger"), and Charles Soteras ("Soteras"), charging violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1343 and 1952. Gervasi and Ettinger are attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Illinois. In 1977, Soteras was a defendant in a criminal case in the Circuit Court of Cook County, charged with car theft. Gervasi and Ettinger represented Soteras on the car theft charge.

The federal indictment alleges that the three defendants conspired to bribe a police officer, Daniel Furay ("Furay"), to arrange for the dismissal of the car theft charges against Soteras. The defendants have filed a number of pretrial motions attacking the indictment, and also have moved to suppress key evidence in the case. All of the parties have filed excellent briefs in support of their positions. The Court rules on these motions as follows.

Read more.. http://www.leagle.com/decision/19831194562FSupp632_11072.xml

Michael Ettinger was caught so red-handed, all he could do was argue to suppress the evidence of the wiretap transcripts in his criminal case.

Well, it being Chicago, coupled with the fact that Ettinger was represented by a team of the Chicago Mob's favorite lawyers - Samuel V.P. Banks, Edward Genson, Jeffrey B. Steinback - Ettinger did escape going to prison.

However, he did not entirely escape consequences.

After a long, drawn-out-battle, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) had no choice but to suspend Michael D. Ettinger's law license for two years.


Public Record of Discipline and Pending Proceedings:

Case(s) below are identified by caption and Commission case number. If there is more than one case, the cases are listed in an order from most recent to oldest. A case may have more than one disposition or more than one component to a disposition, in which situation each disposition and component is also listed separately within that case record, again in an order from most recent to oldest.

Click on Rules and Decisions ("R & D") to access any documents regarding this lawyer that are in Rules and Decisions. R & D contains all disciplinary opinions of the Supreme Court and most other Court orders and board reports issued since 1990. If R & D does not contain the decision that you are seeking, contact the Commission's Clerk's office for assistance. Contact information for the Clerk's office is available at Office Hours.

In re Michael David Ettinger, 86CH0175

Disposition: Suspension for a specified period

Effective Date of Disposition: April 21, 1989
End Date of Disposition: April 21, 1991

Definition of Disposition: Suspension for a specified period reflects a determination that the lawyer has engaged in misconduct and that the misconduct warrants an interruption of the lawyer's authority to practice law during the suspension period, which is a fixed period of time identified in the Supreme Court's order. The lawyer is not authorized to practice law during the period of the suspension.

Two years? Ettinger got off easy!

FYI, Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr. represented Ettinger in the ARDC case.

After his suspension, it did not take Ettinger long to reunite with his old pal, Ed Genson.

In 1993 Ettinger joined Genson and his band of cohorts in representing a couple of their fellow Chicago lawyers who, like Ettinger, had a proclivity to participate in the illegal practice of fixing court cases. Ettinger, Genson, and the fellas represented Judge Adam Stillo Sr. and his nephew, attorney Joseph Stillo in a case that featured FBI informant Robert Cooley as the prosecution's star witness.


NOS. 94-2678, 94-2679.

On July 29, 1993, a jury found Judge Adam Stillo guilty of racketeering and, along with his nephew, lawyer Joseph Stillo, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. Both counts were based on Judge Stillo's corruption of the Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court. Defendants appeal their convictions. We affirm.


Defense attorney Robert Cooley first met Judge Stillo at a party in 1976. Cooley asked the judge whom he should see to fix a criminal case assigned to Judge Stillo. Judge Stillo, knowing that Cooley was a frequent supplier of bribes to other judges and public officials, told Cooley that he would deal with him directly. Not long after the party, Judge Stillo accepted a bribe from Cooley to fix a misdemeanor case. Judge Stillo met with Cooley before trial and agreed to find Cooley's client not guilty. After the trial Cooley met with Judge Stillo in his chambers. Cooley asked the judge whether $100 was an appropriate payment. Judge Stillo responded: "Whatever you think" and accepted the $100 in cash.

Read more... http://www.leagle.com/decision/199561057F3d553_1543.xml/U.S.%20v.%20STILLO

Considering Michael Ettinger's past and his unique set of friends, is it really plausible that Ettenger did not know that Invest Financial Corporation, a company that Robert Blagojevich was CEO of, was investing money for Betty Loren Maltese and the town of Cicero?

Not only did Robert Blagojevich dodge a bullet by not going to prison, so did his attorney.

But the media has shamelessly let Robert Blagojevich and his attorney get away with claiming victim status.

Perhaps it's time to correct that notion..... more to come.


The Blagojevich legal team just can’t get their story straight


Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief

The Blagojevich legal team just can't get their story straight. Most notably, they're having a difficult time coming up with a reasonable explanation for why they did not make Chicago Tribune reporter John Chase tell a jury how he knew that the FBI had a wiretap on Blago.

Such a difficult time, in fact, veteran attorney Sheldon Sorosky actually said that if he had called Chase to testify, "They would have just blamed an FBI agent" for leaking the information about the wiretap.

Let's take a minute to fully appreciate what a truly remarkable statement that is for a defense attorney to make.

Clearly Sorosky is at a loss to explain why he did not call the one witness whose testimony could discredit the very people that Blago needed to discredit, namely the FBI.

Good thing you chose not to discredit the FBI, Shelly. Otherwise the prosecutors would have regretted calling FBI agent Dan Cain as their first witness to testify against your client in BOTH of Blagojevich's trials.

Remarkable, Shelly, truly remarkable! Can anyone spell malpractice?

Blago's other legal eagles, Sam Adam and Sam Adam, Jr., have been contacted by IP2P but have not responded. If they have anything to add to Sorosky's explanation just let us know?

As for Robert Blagojevich's attorney, Michael Ettinger, his previous position was that they would have put Chase on the witness stand had they thought of it. But that has now become "I don't recall who John Chase is."

Really Michael, now you don't remember who "Golden" author John Chase is? That's peculiar considering you've publicly declared John Chase a liar.

Apparently Ettinger has now decided to rejoin the rest of the Blagojevich legal team in their silence on the subject of John Chase knowing about the FBI wiretap and receiving copies of the sealed tapes from the feds.

When you add all of the above to the fact that the media in Chicago is completely ignoring everything while posting "poor Patti Blagojevich" stories, you can only come to one conclusion:

The feds and Blago have finalized their deal, and you can expect the announcement of his early release from prison very soon.

Oh, and don't be surprised if you hear that WLS Radio has a job waiting for Blago when he gets out.

More to come......