August 2008 Archives

Is Tony Rezko cooperating?

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Is Rezko working with the feds?

As his sentencing nears, speculation that political fund-raiser Tony Rezko may be cooperating with the feds is running rampant through the federal courthouse -- and in political circles.

Sources tell the Chicago Sun-Times that Rezko has been seen at the federal courthouse as many as a dozen times since his June conviction. And one source says he's been inside the U.S. Attorney's Office twice. He's been held since then at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

Read today's story: Is Rezko cooperating?

By Natasha Korecki
Federal Courts Reporter/nkorecki@suntimes.com

A federal judge postponed the sentencing of political fund-raiser Antoin "Tony"Rezko, by nearly two months, after his lawyers said they need more time to put together a complex package for what could be a contentious hearing.
The sentencing date now stands at Oct. 28 -- one week before U.S. Sen. Barack Obama faces John McCain in the presidential election. Rezko is a onetime friend and former fund-raiser to Obama. It had been scheduled for Sept. 3.
"This motion is not being brought for purposes of delay," Rezko's lawyers wrote in a court motion. "But rather to allow the defense to present its legal arguments in an efficient, complete, and thorough manner."
Rezko, 52, of Wilmette, has been housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center since his June conviction. A jury convicted him of wide-ranging fraud, connected to taking kickbacks from state deals. Rezko was a top adviser and fund-raiser to Gov. Blagojevich and a fund-raiser.
"The current sentencing date is simply not realistic given the number of issues that must be briefed in the parties' sentencing memoranda, the number of witnesses that must be prepared to testify at sentencing, and the number of letters that must be gathered from family and friends," lawyers for Rezko wrote.
Neither the government, nor the defense have publicly disclosed the sentencing range they will argue Rezko should face. But other defendants convicted of similar crimes have been sentenced to numerous years in prison.
Comment@suntimes.com

Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

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