- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

CHICAGO (AP) Gov. George Ryan's campaign committee and two former top aides were charged yesterday with racketeering in the biggest indictment to come out of a four-year federal investigation into a licenses-for-bribes scheme when he was secretary of state.
Prosecutors have said about $170,000 in bribe money ended up in Mr. Ryan's campaign fund. The Republican governor has not been charged with wrongdoing, but he decided not to seek a second term after the scandal hurt his popularity in polls.
In essence, the indictment charges that Mr. Ryan's campaign committee secretly and illegally used state workers and public money for political purposes.
"The indictment alleges that Citizens for Ryan, as a campaign, for a number of years broke the law with considerable vigor," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said. "Public funds were stolen and plundered for political benefit."
Scott Fawell, 44, Mr. Ryan's campaign manager and longtime former chief of staff, was charged with racketeering, mail fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Mr. Fawell is the highest-ranking official charged in the investigation, in which 48 persons have been charged and 42 have been convicted.
Also charged was Richard Juliano, 34, the No. 2 man in the governor's 1998 campaign, who became the U.S. Transportation Department's liaison to the White House. Prosecutors said he resigned from that job last week.
Mr. Juliano was a longtime Secretary of State's Office employee and political aide to Mr. Ryan, who also directed President Bush's 2000 campaign in Illinois. His attorney said he would plead guilty to one count of mail fraud.
Prosecutors said the primary goal of the scheme was to use Secretary of State's Office employees for campaign activities, performing official acts as a way of helping the campaign and concealing certain campaign activities from public exposure and possible prosecution.
Mr. Fawell and others were behind the creation of false documents in the Secretary of State's Office to justify pay raises and promotions for employees in return for the campaign work they performed, according to the 80-page indictment.
Among other things, the indictment asks that the Citizens for Ryan campaign fund forfeit approximately $1 million in three bank accounts. It also asks for forfeiture of Mr. Fawell's suburban house.


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