St. Louis Public Radio News
11:22 am
Fri February 28, 2003

Blagojevich Halts Corrections Chief Nomination

Springfield, Ill. – The confirmation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's prisons chief is in jeopardy, following a Chicago Tribune report about abuses at Cook County's jail.

Blagojevich yesterday asked the state Senate to halt his nomination of Ernesto Velasco; the governor says he's alarmed by a report that guards at Cook County Jail beat and terrorized inmates four years ago.

Velasco was director of the jail at the time of the alleged beatings.

Blagojevich says he wants more information on the allegations and whether Velasco knew anything about them.

The governor's chief of staff met with Velasco Thursday in Springfield to talk about the allegations.