Citing recession, Blagojevich lawyers ask to skip retrial

March 9, 2011

(WBEZ/file)
Lawyers for Blagojevich say the former governor should be sentenced on the one charge on which he's already been convicted.

Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to cancel his spring retrial and immediately sentence him instead on the sole conviction from his first trial.

The request comes in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago early Wednesday. The five-page filing says Blagojevich isn't conceding any guilt, including on the conviction of lying to the FBI. That's the only count jurors agreed on at his 2010 trial.

 Wednesday's motion says money woes prompted the latest request. Blagojevich's lawyers argue in a new court filing that a second trial would be an "imprudent" use of taxpayer dollars. The government's supposed to foot the legal bills for the broke ex-governor. But the motion complains Blagojevich's lawyers haven't been paid in nine months, undercutting his ability to mount a defense.

Blagojevich faces a maximum five-year prison term for the lying conviction. Several of the 20 charges he'd be retried on carry a 20-year sentence.