Wearing a metallic cowboy hat, reflective sunglasses and already spinning tales of old Chicago, the newest member of Blago's defense team has arrived.
Allan Ackerman, a onetime mob attorney whose specialty of late has been crafting appellate arguments, said today he will formally join the ranks of the former governor's legal team.
Ackerman referred to himself today as a "maven," an expert who will organize the evidence, including more than 3 million documents in the case and have it ready for the June trial.
Among Ackerman's former clients: reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman.
Ackerman rounds out an already colorful cast involved in the Blago case, from the lectern-pounding Sam Adam Jr. to veteran defense lawyer Michael Ettinger (who represents the ex-gov's brother, Robert) to Shelly Sorosky, who often tosses off a comical comment from behind his dark-rimmed glasses.
Including today: "It's a free country," Sorosky said of his client's recent appearance at a neighborhood block party where Blago shook his leg and sang Elvis. "The man does whatever he wants."
Ackerman, like the rest of the lawyers representing Rod Blagojevich, will be paid $110 an hour -- a rate controlled by U.S. District Judge James Zagel and deducted out of the ousted governor's campaign fund.