CHICAGO (CBS) — The rise and fall of one of a key Illinois political insider and power broker now behind bars on corruption charges is the basis for a new theater production in Chicago this fall.
WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports Stuart Levine is serving 5 ½ years in prison, after pleading guilty to money laundering and fraud charges, and testifying as a key government witness in the corruption investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration.
A political insider with strong ties to both Republican and Democratic politicians, Levine gave thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, sat on several state boards, and swindled friends and colleagues alike, all while using cocaine, crystal meth, and other drugs.
“He wielded a lot of power behind the scenes, but also had a double life,” said former government spokesman Tim Touhy, who has co-written a play about Levine’s sordid past, shining a spotlight on Illinois’ infamous political mechanics. “Stuart Levine admitted that he was corrupt his entire life, that he abused drugs seriously most of his entire life, yet he was the star government witness.”