Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Defense suffers defeat with honest services. Judge keeps nearly all counts.

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All the hollering the defense has done with regard to the U.S. Supreme Court taking on the honest services law has fallen flat.

Judge James Zagel today ruled that the high court's recent decision to severely limit the use of the law will have almost no effect on the 24 counts facing Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich's lawyers had asked that the entire trial be postponed until the high court ruled on the law, which loosely says that public officials or people in private positions of power can not defraud someone his or her "intangible right to honest services."

Though the Supreme Court last week narrowed the use of the law, it kept it intact with regard to kickbacks and bribes.

Zagel said he doesn't think any of Blagojevich's counts will be tossed as a result of the ruling -- with one exception. The charge involving Tribune Co. and Blagojevich's alleged attempts to get the company to fire its newspaper's editorial board in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field and the Cubs.

Zagel said he would take up that issue later.


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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Ostman published on June 30, 2010 12:10 PM.

Rod Blagojevich: Appoint J.B. Pritzker to Senate in exchange for nonprofit cash? was the previous entry in this blog.

Rod Blagojevich: Appoint J.B. Pritzker to Senate in exchange for nonprofit cash? is the next entry in this blog.

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