Prosecution rests in Cellini trial

October 20, 2011

Download Story
(AP file/M. Spencer Green)
William Cellini

Prosecutors have rested their case against the millionaire political insider William Cellini.  Their final witness was Tom Rosenberg, a movie producer who also owned a financial company that did business with the state.

Cellini is accused of helping Tony Rezko and Chris Kelly extort a campaign contribution from Rosenberg for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In 2004 a state contract Rosenberg was expecting was being held up, so Rosenberg asked the politically connected and savvy Cellini to find out what was going on.  Cellini got back to Rosenberg and said Rezko and Kelly were holding the state business until Rosenberg made a contribution to the former governor.  Cellini insists he was just relaying information about what he was hearing, he was not part of a conspiracy to extort the contribution.

On the stand, Rosenberg said he had warned Cellini many times to stay away from Rezko and Kelly because they were crooked, but he also said that Cellini never asked him to contribute to any politician during the 30 years the two have known each other.