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Chris Kelly, Former Blagojevich Confidante, Agrees To Plea Deal

09/ 8/09 06:20 PM ET   AP

Chriskelly
Christopher Kelly, the former chief fundraiser for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, leaves the federal building in Chicago, Monday, June 22, 2009, after he was sentenced to 37 months in prison for hiding his use of company funds to pay gambling debts and other expenses from the Internal Revenue Service. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO — The former chief fundraiser for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has pleaded guilty to taking part in a $8.5 million fraud arising from hangar roofing contracts at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

Christopher Kelly is the former head of the Friends of Rod Blagojevich campaign fund. He entered his plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

A signed plea agreement calls for Kelly to serve a 57-month prison sentence on top of a 37 month term he must serve in an unrelated tax case.

Kelly is to surrender to start serving his sentence Sept. 18.

Kelly still faces charges as a Blagojevich co-defendant in the case that includes allegations the former governor sought to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

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Filed by Ben Goldberger  |