Licenses for Sale

George Ryan
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Gov. George Ryan's supporters are raising money for a private trust fund that may end up paying his legal expenses as a political corruption investigation moves closer to him.

The governor's office has acknowledged that the Friends of George Ryan Trust is being set up with an eye toward paying legal bills. So far, Ryan has not been charged with any crime as part of the ongoing investigation.

Ryan spokesman Dennis Culloton says current state employees will be barred from contributing and says the names of all contributors will be disclosed in December.

Culloton says Rosemont Mayor Donald Stephens held a luncheon attended by the governor last week. Republican sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, tell The Associated Press the purpose of the lunch was to solicit contributions to the new fund.