An important figure in the federal corruption case against Rod Blagojevich died today, the Chicago Tribune reports. Christopher Kelly, a former fundraiser and confidante to Blagojevich, died from salicylate intoxication, a county medical examiner's office said. Salicylates are found in pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications. One law enforcement source called it an "aspirin overdose," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Kelly, 51, who was indicted with Blagojevich this spring, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a separate case this week. The owner of a roofing business, Kelly was accused of taking part in a kickback scheme to get $8.5 million in contracts at O'Hare Airport. He said at the time that he was refusing to cooperate with federal investigators in their case against Blagojevich. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
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