Richard H. Driehaus took the stand in the trial of Antoin Tony Rezko a notorious Chicago politically connected figure whose influence has embroiled the $40 billion Illinois Teachers' Retirement System, Springfield, and even tainted Sen. Barack Obama.
Mr. Driehaus testified April 21 about a 2003 encounter with Mr. Rezko, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. The chairman and chief investment officer of Driehaus Capital Management LLC, Chicago, with $4.5 billion under management, displayed a profile in integrity.
Mr. Rezko asked Mr. Driehaus if he might want to manage money for state pension funds, including the Illinois teachers fund, according to the report.
Sure, Driehaus responded as he began to explain the money management philosophy of his investment house, the report said. But Mr. Driehaus said Mr. Rezko wasn't interested in investment details.
Instead, he testified, Mr. Rezko was far more interested in whether Mr. Driehaus' firm would pay finders' fees for landing state pension business and make political contributions, the report said.
(Mr.) Driehaus said the talk grew testy as Rezko pushed on the subject, the report said. (Mr.) Driehaus said he grew uncomfortable and finally shut Rezko down. I said, "I don't pay money to get money.'
Bill Blase, Driehaus spokesman, confirmed the report as an accurate reflection of the circumstances and Richard's testimony.Barry B. Burr