Politics and crime have always been tough business in Chicagoland. Today we find out that Christopher Kelly, the “go-to” guy and top fundraiser to former Governor Rod Blagojevich, as well as a key figure in the federal corruption probe against Blago, is dead of an apparent aspirin overdose.
Christopher Kelly, age 51, was a key figure in the federal corruption investigation of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, and apparently he may have committed suicide. Chris Kelly was found at about 11 p.m. Friday night in a lumber yard in a neighborhood of Chicago called Country Club Hills. Christopher Kelly was taken to the hospital and stabilized but later died at 10:46 a.m. Saturday morning according to reports from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. As you can imagine, Chicago police are investigating Christopher Kelly’s death because it’s considered a high profile case.
According to sources involved in the investigation, Christopher Kelly, who is married, called a woman identified as his “girlfriend” and told her that he took some pills and was going to kill himself. The woman picked up Chris Kelly. He began vomiting so she took him to the hospital and called police. He later died and an autopsy is scheduled.
Everything in the federal Blago corruption probe is complicated, with information and Chicago-style deal making that some have said, could possibly involve very high ranking government officials in the White House. But in a nutshell, Blago was accused by federal prosecutors of using his office to leverage campaign donations and benefits for himself and his family, stemming from the Senate seat vacated by then Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Prosecutors have been very interested in talking and gleaning information from Blagojevich aides especially Blago buddy, Christopher Kelly, who along with 4 others have been indicted as Blago’s co-conspirators, but he hasn’t been cooperative. He’s had other legal issues to worry about…
Just days ago, Christopher Kelly pleaded guilty in an illegal kickback scheme to fraudulently obtaining approximately $8.5 million in inflated contracts for projects involving Chicago O’Hare Airport and his own company, BCI Commercial Roofing, Inc. He received the kickbacks to pay for his gambling debts and other personal debts. Christopher Kelly was facing nearly eight years in prison as well as very public trial with Rod Blagojevich scheduled for next June.
Oh and by the way, the utterly disgraceful Rod Blagojevich, who is out of state hawking his new book, released a statement through his publicist offering condolences on the death of Christopher Kelly, his longtime advisor and friend:
“I am deeply saddened to hear that Chris has died. My heart goes out to his wife Carmen, his three daughters Grace, Jacqueline and Claire and his entire family. They are in our prayers.”
You can watch a video below of the indictment and arraingment of the Blago co-defendents which included Christopher Kelly.