Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rezko flashback: Tony the affirmative action swindler

Among the accusations against Barack Obama's pal Antoin "Tony" Rezko are slumlord, influence peddler, and disreputable businessman, you can probably add affirmatative action con-artist to the list.

In 1984, Rezko went to work for Crucial, Inc., which was owned by Jabir Herbert Muhammad, son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and a onetime manager for boxer Muhammad Ali. Eventually Rezko was running Crucial.

In March, 2005 it was widely reported that the City of Chicago had discovered that Crucial, which operated two restaurants at O'Hare Airport under a minority business certification, but it was a front, since Rezko was at the helm of the firm.

Three months later, Rezko's wife Rita and the Obamas bought those side-by-side properties in Chicago's fancy Kenwood neighborhood.

And Senator Obama didn't know about what was going on at O'Hare?

Remember, Rezko was also regularly in the news in Illinois at this time because of the ongoing federal investigation against him over charges of influence peddling.

A month after the Kenwood purchases, City of Chicago officials decertified Crucial as a minority business.

Five months later, the Obamas bought a small strip of the "Rezko lot."

Rezko's involvement with the Jabir Muhammad family didn't just involve Crucial, Inc.

In 1992, Muhammad, now 78, became ill and turned over his private and business affairs to Rezko. Muhammad told the Chicago Sun-Times last year that Rezko "embezzled me."

Rezko's attorney denies the charges, but apparently Muhammad sold his South Side Chicago home to Rezko in 1993. But Muhammad told the Sun-Times, "He had taken it without my knowledge and didn't pay me for it." The Muhammad family was supposed to move out at the end of 1995.

Rezko's attorneys produced checks from Rezko to Muhammad and a signed contract from that time period.

Nine years later Rezko sold the Muhammad home (they still live there) to Dr. Paul Ray, a highly-paid urologist for Cook County-owned Stroger Hospital and he wants the Muhammads to move out.

Dr. Ray contributed money to Obama's political fund, which was later donated to charity by the campaign.

For more on Rezko and Obama, keep scrolling down.

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10-K said...

I've been wondering why Rezko was so interested in Obama's early career. I thought it was to bribe him as a state legislator, but it may have been to use Obama as a front man in bogus minority set-asides. That, of course, was before Obama emerged as a much more valuable asset as a presidential candidate.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Obama used his friendship with Rezko to get Rezko to clean up his slum property or was this friendship used only for the financial and political gains for himself???