Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Investment firm's payments to Republican fundraiser under scrutiny

CHICAGO - Federal prosecutors investigating corruption at a state pension fund have subpoenaed records concerning $4.5 million in fees a Washington-based investment firm is paying the new treasurer of the Republican National Committee, government sources confirmed Tuesday.

The subpoena calls for documents related to the fund, the Carlyle Group and Robert Kjellander, said sources familiar with the investigation who spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying prosecutors want details of the probe kept secret.

Kjellander, a Springfield-based lobbyist who headed President Bush's re-election campaign in three states, was named the RNC's treasurer over the weekend.

Illinois Teachers Retirement System officials expressed concern about the amount of finders fees Carlyle offered Kjellander for helping to land business with the pension fund - $3.1 million paid and $1.4 million due.

"I believe that we were all taken aback when we learned of the size of his compensation for services to the Carlyle Group," said Jon Bauman, executive director of the pension fund.

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