Cellini lawyers ask to throw out convictions citing Gov. Ryan's case

November 15, 2011

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WBEZ
William Cellini and his wife Julie in the lobby of the Dirksen federal court building in Chicago after his recent conviction.

Arguments prosecutors made at the trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan are haunting them in a more current public corruption case.

Two jurors in the Ryan case lied about their criminal histories. Prosecutors told the judge then that the two should be removed because they lied to get on the jury, and that proved they had some sort of bias. One of those jurors also gave a fake name to police when she was arrested and prosecutors said that proved she had no regard for the criminal justice system.

But now prosecutors may have to argue the exact opposite if they want to hold on to the recent conviction of William Cellini, a Springfield businessman who was convicted two weeks ago in connection with fundraising for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The Chicago Tribune reported last week that one juror lied about two felony convictions for DUI and possession of crack cocaine.

Cellini's defense attorneys filed a motion late Monday asking for a new trial saying the juror must have lied on purpose because the questions regarding criminal history were not confusing or ambiguous.