As jury selection got underway this morning, a federal judge for the first time revealed the list of people expected to testify at the trial of businessman and political fund-raiser Tony Rezko.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve quickly read from the list, which appeared to lack any political bombshells.
Included was Thomas Rosenberg, a Hollywood producer allegedly shaken down for a political contribution as he sought state business.
Rezko appeared somewhat relaxed in court this morning. He smiled wide, whispered and at times chuckled at friends and family sitting in courtroom benches behind him.
Since Jan. 28, Rezko has been housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown. He was given a black suit to wear to court this morning and arrived in the courtroom without a tie. Deputy marshals allowed him to put one on once inside the courtroom.
Rezko took notes and listened intently as St. Eve interviewed 26 prospective jurors this morning.
While Rezko’s lawyers had complained about pretrial publicity tarnishing their client, more than half of the jurors said they hadn’t read, seen or heard anything about the trial in the news since they filled out their juror questionnaires in January.
Rezko is accused of shaking down firms for illegal payments in exchange for steering state work their way.