(For some background on the Blagojevich/Rezko connection, click here: http://writewingpolitics.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/culture-of-corruption-rod-blagojevic/)
It’s been almost two (2) years since Antoin “Tony” Rezko was convicted on 16 of 24 felony counts by a federal grand jury in Chicago. The counts included fraud, money laundering and joining a bribery conspiracy. However Rezko still has not been sentenced. On October 9, 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times reported:
October 9, 2008BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter
A federal judge this morning officially postponed the sentencing of political fund-raiser Tony Rezko as he continues his discussions with the government.
U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve indefinitely delayed Rezko’s Oct. 28 sentencing date and told the parties to meet again for a status in the case in December.RELATED STORIES
The sentencing, originally scheduled for Oct. 28, just before the election, was likely to bring unfavorable publicity to Rezko’s onetime friend Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Prosecutors and Rezko lawyers said this morning they did not want to set a future date for sentencing.
Rezko lawyer William Ziegelmueller said they sought the delay to “work together to agree to otherwise narrow differences at sentencing.”
The agreement comes as Rezko is talking to federal prosecutors. The Sun-Times first reported Rezko’s meetings with the feds in August and sources close to the investigation later confirmed the talks last month.
Ziegelmueller said this morning there was presently no deal in place, otherwise “today would have been different.”
Ziegelmueller said Rezko remains in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Two (2) years is a long time to be engaged in a conversation with federal prosecutors.
Rezko was moved out of a downtown Chicago jail in December 2009. The Chicago Sun-Times reported:
Prosecutors help move Rezko out of MCC
onBy Natasha Korecki
Federal Courts Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Convicted businessman Tony Rezko — who is poised to become a crucial witness in the massive corruption case against ex-Gov. Blagojevich — was quietly moved out of a downtown jail and into another facility last month, the Sun-Times has learned.
Authorities seeking Rezko’s cooperation pushed for the move after Rezko complained about being held in the tough confines of solitary imprisonment, known as “the hole,” even as he was providing information to prosecutors, sources said.
U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show Rezko was released from the Metropolitan Correctional Center downtown on Dec. 16.
Kim Widup, the U.S. Marshal in Chicago, said Rezko was relocated.
“He is still in marshal service custody,” Widup said. “We have moved him into another institution.”
Widup wouldn’t specify the new lockup, but the Marshal’s Service uses space in more than half a dozen county jails in Illinois and Wisconsin in addition to the MCC.
Rezko’s relocation is a sign that even with thousands of taped conversations of the governor, investigators still highly value Rezko’s potential as a witness. The MCC is considered by some inmates to have harsher conditions than county jails.
Upon his conviction in early June of schemes involving state deals, Rezko went to jail voluntarily, saying he wanted to start serving his time. Then, in August, the Sun-Times first reported that the 53-year-old Wilmette resident began meeting with prosecutors.
Rezko, who served as an adviser and fund-raiser to Blagojevich, provided authorities with substantial information involving the governor and bolstered pay-to-play testimony by former Illinois Finance Authority director Ali Ata, as well as talking about other alleged deals.
But the talks hit a stumbling block when Rezko grew frustrated at being held in solitary at the MCC. In late November, Rezko’s lawyers asked a federal judge to sentence their client — a threat to stop talking. Cooperating defendants usually aren’t sentenced until after they testify. But after that move, the two sides appeared to find a resolution. On Dec. 16, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve indefinitely postponed Rezko’s sentencing — that was the same day he was moved to another jail.
If Rezko is not currently incarcerated with the Bureau, is he under federal witness protection? Given his name has now re-surfaced in the Blagojevich prosecution, does Rezko have information to contradict what Obama told the FBI? Only time, and Tony Rezko will tell.