Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich owes more than $500,000 in unpaid bills to the law firm Winston & Strawn, his primary counsel since federal investigators began looking into various allegations of corruption five years ago. It is unclear whether the legal bills are for personal or campaign work, or for both. Campaign filings show Winston & Strawn had charged the governor's campaign fund, Friends of Blagojevich, nearly $2 million in legal fees through the end of 2007.
The criminal complaint against the governor repeatedly refers to his family's financial troubles.
Earlier this year, Blagojevich, strapped for cash and burdened by a years-long federal investigation into his administration, stopped paying a portion of the millions in fees owed to Winston & Strawn, according to people familiar with the matter. As a result, Winston & Strawn stopped representing the governor, who is now embroiled in one of the most spectacular public-corruption inquiries in years. In the criminal complaint filed this week, federal prosecutors charged Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.-- WSJ