According to the complaint, "the defendants did, conspire witheach other an with others to devise and participate in a scheme todefraud the state of Illinois and the people of the state ofIllinois." The complaint also references the Tribune and WrigleyField, saying the governor and Harris "…corruptly solicited anddemanded a thing of value, namely, the firing of certain ChicagoTribune editorial members responsible for widely-circulatededitorials critical of Rod R. Blagojevich, intending to beinfluenced and rewarded in connection with business andtransactions of the state of Illinois involving a thing of value of$5,000 or more, namely, the provision of millions of dollars infinancial assistance by the state of Illinois, including throughthe Illinois Finance Authority, an agency of the state of Illinois,to the Tribune Co. involving the Wrigley Field baseballstadium."

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According to a Department of Justice statement today, the FBItapped the governor's phones to gain its evidence, as well asgathering interviews with numerous individuals associated with Gov.Blagojevich who have been indicted on fraud charges, including TonyRezko and Stuart Levine. Calls and emails to the governor's officeof communications have not been returned.

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In the complaint, the DOJ alleges that the governor tried toleverage a $100 million incentive package for the sale of WrigleyField in exchange for the firing of editorial board staff at theTribune who have been writing articles calling for Blagojevich'simpeachment. "Rod Blagojevich and John Harris, together withothers, offered to, and threatened to withhold from, the TribuneCo. substantial state financial assistance in connection withWrigley Field, which assistance Rod Blagojevich believed to beworth at least $100 million to the Tribune Co., for the privatepurpose of inducing the controlling shareholder of the Tribune Co.to fire members of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, anewspaper owned by the Tribune Co., who were responsible foreditorials critical of Rod Blagojevich," according to thecomplaint.

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According to the complaint, the governor's office was going toapprove the provide state assistance to Zell, worth about $100million, for the purchase of Wrigley Field. In a taped conversationwith Blagovich, "Harris said that it is basically a tax mitigationscheme where the IFA will 'own the title to the building' (believedto be Wrigley Field), and the Tribune will not 'have to pay capitalgains tax," according to the complaint.

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There is no mention that Zell caved into this alleged pressure;in fact, the DOJ indicates that taped conversations show that thewriters in question kept their jobs. The sale of Wrigley Field,expected to reach $200 million to $300 million at one time, was tohelp the Zell recover from the purchase of the Tribune. There werelayoffs at the paper on Dec. 4. The Tribune announced Monday thatit is electing to restructure its debt under the protection ofChapter 11 bankruptcy. "The Chicago Cubs are not included inTribune's restructuring and the business and baseball operations ofthe Cubs continue independent of Tribune's decision to restructureits debt," according to a Cubs statement Monday. "The sales processfor the team, ballpark and related assets continues and itstimetable for completion remains unchanged."

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