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Blagojevich a disengaged governor, aide says

Associated Press / July 9, 2010

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CHICAGO — Rod Blagojevich hid in the bathroom, ducked into a back room, and left the office early to avoid discussing complex issues with his budget director, his former deputy said yesterday at the ousted governor’s corruption trial.

Robert Greenlee, former deputy governor, portrayed Blagojevich as disengaged, saying the governor spent on average two to eight hours a week in his office. He said that during working hours, the governor generally was at home or attending high-profile events.

Greenlee said he would confer with Blagojevich by telephone when they discussed issues and policy matters, adding that he once had to go to dinner with the governor and his family at a bowling alley to get Blagojevich to focus on legislation that had to be addressed immediately.

Greenlee said that John Filan, former budget director, had to chase after the governor to get him to discuss important items.

“He would hide in the bathroom, hide in the back room, or leave early,’’ Greenlee said, adding that Blagojevich went to great lengths to avoid staff members who he felt disagreed with him too often.

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