By Natasha Korecki
Federal Courts Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.