Key Blagojevich Probe Figure Is Dead

Christopher Kelly, a key figure in the federal corruption probe into former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is dead.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office today confirmed that a body identified as Christopher Kelly was brought to the morgue from Stroger Hospital. The office would not provide any details, including manner of death.

Kelly is a former confidant and top fundraiser for Blagojevich, who was accused of using his office to leverage campaign donations and benefits for himself and his family.

Kelly, who was indicted alongside Blagojevich in April, pleaded guilty this week in a separate federal case.

On Tuesday, in a surprise move just a day before his scheduled trial, Kelly, owner of a roofing business, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud as part of a kickback scheme to illegally obtain $8.5 million in work at O’Hare International Airport.

At the time, Kelly, 51, said he was under pressure from federal prosecutors to cooperate in their investigation of Blagojevich, but he refused.

Kelly faced a sentence of almost 5 years in prison on top of the roughly 3 years in prison he got in June for his guilty plea to tax offenses.

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