A prominent businessman in Chicago’s Indian community and an appointee of Rod Blagojevich who testified at the former governor’s trial faces a felony retail theft charge in connection with a shoplifting accusation at a Far North Side home repair store, police said tonight.
Rajinder Bedi, 58, was expected to appear Saturday in Cook County Central Bond Court after being arrested at the Home Depot at 6211 N. Lincoln Ave. about 1 p.m. today, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.
A law enforcement source confirmed the arrested man had been involved in Blagojevich’s trial.
Bedi testified in the trial that he was present when U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and a supporter discussed fundraising and the congressman’s interest in President Baraack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. Prosecutors said Bedi could testify he was present when the supporter told Jackson he would offer to raise $1 million in return for Blagojevich naming Jackson to the U.S. Senate, but the judge in the trial barred Bedi from testifying about that part of the meeting with Jackson.
Bedi, at the time a newspaper editor, was a prominent backer of Blagojevich and a member of his transition team when the ex-governor took office. Bedi also worked for the state under Blagojevich, including in the Department of Economic and Community Affairs at a salary of $115,000 yearly during Blagojevich’s last year in office, 2008.
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