CHICAGO – Rod Blagojevich hid in the bathroom, ducked into a back room and left the office early to avoid discussing complex issues with his budget director, his former deputy said Thursday at the ousted governor’s corruption trial.

Former Deputy Gov. Robert Greenlee portrayed Blagojevich as disengaged from daily affairs of state government, saying the governor spent on average two to eight hours a week in his office. He said that during working hours, the governor generally was at home or attending high-profile events.

Greenlee said he would confer with Blagojevich by telephone when they discussed issues and policy matters, but that he once had to go to dinner with the governor and his family at a bowling alley to get Blagojevich to focus on legislation that had to be addressed immediately.

Former budget director John Filan, Greenlee testified, had to chase after the governor to get him to discuss important items.

“He would hide in the bathroom, hide in the back room or leave early,” Greenlee said, adding that Blagojevich went to great lengths to avoid staffers whom he felt disagreed with him too often.

Greenlee also said Blagojevich wasn’t initially invited to Barack Obama’s victory rally the night of the 2008 presidential election, but his staff managed to get him credentials — on the condition that he not actually attend.

The Obama campaign, Greenlee said, “had concerns about being seen with him.” Greenlee said the credentials were finally approved after Blagojevich’s staff promised he wouldn’t show up. Greenlee said that was to avoid publicity on being snubbed.

Meanwhile, according to earlier testimony, Blagojevich was trying to get a Cabinet post in the new administration.

Blagojevich, 53, has pleaded not guilty to trying to get a high-paying job or big campaign contribution in return for the appointment to the Senate seat. He has also pleaded not guilty to taking part in a racketeering scheme using the powers of the governor’s office.

Robert Blagojevich, 54, the former governor’s brother, has pleaded not guilty to taking part in any scheme involving the Senate seat and to scheming to pressure businessmen for campaign funds.