McHenry County Jeff Ladd Testifies in Rezko Trial; More Monday

In the Crystal Lake Mercy Hospital fight, Woodstock attorney and former Metra chairman Jeff Ladd was, of course, on Centegra’s side.

Centegra had been dealt a losing hand.

Ladd had apparently convinced Governor Jim Edgar and Senate President Pate Philip to push through the appointment of Ladd’s Democratic Party friend Tom Beck as a member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. Beck retained the appointment through George Ryan’s term and got Tony Rezko to keep him on the board after Governor Rod Blagojevich was elected, giving Rezko a $1,000 contribution for Blagojevich.

ABC Channel 7 reports,

“Beck also told the jury that one of his best social and family friends is Jeffrey Ladd, the Republican former Metra chairman, who now calls himself a healthcare lawyer.“

While on the Blagojevich board, Beck let Ladd know that Rezko controlled five votes on the board.

Although Beck was now the hospital licensing board’s chairman, he told Ladd he couldn’t help him beat back Mercy Health System’s competitive challenge to Centegra’s two McHenry County hospitals.

The Daily Herald put it this way:

”But Beck also testified that part of his opposition to the Mercy plan was, at least ‘in the back of my mind,’ due to his friendship with former Metra chairman Jeffrey Ladd and former Chicago alderman Ed Kelly, both of whom were representing Centegra, a competitor of Mercy.

“‘I said (to Rezko) something like,

‘How can you do something like that to our friends Ed and Jeff?’

testified Beck.”

When the Mercy Hospital challenge arose, Ladd asked who might be able to get through to Rezko and Beck recommended his cousin, former Chicago Democratic Party ward boss and Park District head Ed Kelly. Ladd hired him, paying him $80,000, presumably on Centegra’s behalf.

Ladd said he later ate meals with Rezko and Stuart Levine.

Although state law made it illegal for Beck to talk to Ladd about board business, Beck nevertheless called Ladd the night before the Mercy Hospital vote to alert him of what was going down at the next day’s board meeting.

Discussing the Mercy Hospital application, the Chicago Tribune Rezko blog reports,

“Beck said he began to argue with Rezko because two of their mutual friends, Jeffrey Ladd and Ed Kelly, were acting as consultants for a competing hospital group. Beck couldn’t see going against them, he told the jury.”

Did you pick up the term “mutual friends” in connection with Rezko’s name?

After the board voted, Levine and Beck went to Rezko’s office. The Tribune blog reports,

“He said he spoke to Rezko briefly, who told him their friends Ladd and Kelly would be taken care of another time.“

The Tribune article says Beck said,

“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of Ed and Jeff next time.“

Ladd has been granted immunity from prosecution for his testimony, as was Beck, the man he supported for the IHFPB.

When asked what immunity from prosecution means, he replied that if he told the truth,

“…then there isn’t anything coming out of this matter for which I can be prosecuted.”

A good play by play account of the trial can be found here at the Tribune web site.

Ladd is up tomorrow again morning.

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The picture of Jeff Ladd on the left and Ken Koehler on the right was found on the McHenry County Republican Party web site.

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