Blago Wife Gets Fired From Homeless Agency

llinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich is out of a job.

Blagojevich -- who started Sept. 1 as development director of the 100-year-old Chicago Christian Industrial League -- was quietly dismissed from her $100,000-a-year job on Tuesday.

The action comes just days before her husband, Gov. Rod Blagojevich could be removed from office in a Illinois Senate impeachment trial after he was charged with trying to auction off President Barack Obama's U.S. senate seat.

Patti Blagojevich was hired as a fundraiser for the century-old institution, but an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC Chicago shows the Christian Industrial League is in dire financial trouble and that internally, the Board members have discussed the possibility of bankruptcy.   [January 8:  Fundraising May Not Save 100-Year-Old Shelter]

Blagojevich had a one-year contract.

Blagojevich, the 43-year-old mother of two girls, was "saddened" by the Board's decision, said the governor's spokesman, Lucio Guerrero.

"She enjoyed working at the CCIL and thinks the organization does a good job of helping empower those in need. She wishes her colleagues well in these financially trying times," Guerrero said in an e-mail.

In each of Patti Blagojevich’s first three months on the job, the Christian Industrial League brought in $10,000 to $15,000 a month — the same as it did before she started, according to president William Good, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

According to the Christian Industrial League’s interim executive director, Mary Shaver, private funding at the charity has dropped, federal HUD money has been lost and the facility is now only half full.

Many of the financial problems can be traced back to when the Christian Industrial League moved from its home in Greektown to a plot on Roosevelt Road.

The new $25 million state-of-the-art shelter opened in 2006. It provides food for the hungry, beds for the homeless, and job training for the willing.

For 97 years, the Christian Industrial League was located in Chicago's Greektown neighborhood, an area that in the last decade has become prime real estate.

The First Lady has not spoken publicly since the governor was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges on December 9, 2008. 

Patti Blagojevich isn't accused of wrongdoing, but prosecutors say in the criminal complaint that a recorded telephone call captured her  expletive-laced suggestion to "just fire" newspaper editors if the Tribune Co. hoped for state assistance to sell Wrigley Field.

"Hold up that (expletive) Cubs (expletive)," she says as her husband talks on the telephone, according to the criminal complaint. "(Expletive) them."

Patti Blagojevich is also a licensed real estate broker and appraiser whose Chicago real estate brokerage firm has raised questions about whether she benefited from contacts of her husband and father, powerful Chicago alderman Richard Mell.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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