Judge berates Blagojevich lawyer for juror motion

December 19, 2011

The Associated Press

(WBEZ/Andrew Gill, File)
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich after his sentencing.

A federal judge has denied what he called a "harebrained" motion by Rod Blagojevich's legal team over what they claimed was potential misconduct by the foreman at his corruption retrial.

Judge James Zagel also threatened Monday to sanction the attorney who drafted it for the impeached Illinois governor, who was convicted of charges including that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Blagojevich's lawyer asked Zagel to investigate whether the jury foreman violated the judge's orders by speaking publicly about the case.

The judge says the motion was prepared without "adequate thought and suggests the attorney apologize to the juror.

The motion had sought a new trial if court rules were violated.

Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison, which he begins in March.