WBEZ | Tony Rezko http://www.wbez.org/tags/tony-rezko Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Ex-Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko sentenced to prison for second time http://www.wbez.org/story/ex-blagojevich-fundraiser-tony-rezko-sentenced-prison-second-time-95121 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/81071353.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the second time in two months, Tony Rezko was back in front of a judge Thursday to be sentenced to federal prison. Rezko was a fundraiser for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>Rezko was recently sentenced to 10 and a half years behind bars for his role in corruption in the Blagojevich administration. Thursday, he was back in front of a judge to be sentenced in a different case. This time for lying to get some loans to keep his failing businesses afloat. The case was brought as prosecutors were applying pressure to individuals involved in illegal fundraising for Blagojevich.</p><p>Judge James Zagel today handed Rezko a seven and a half year sentence, which he can serve at the same time as his other sentence. Zagel also admonished Rezko for entangling, "an honorable man" into his criminal acts. By that he meant one of Rezko's co-defendants who pleaded guilty, but the judge didn't say to whom he was referring.</p><p>Rezko will also have to pay more than $4 million in restitution, something his attorney says Rezko can't afford to do.</p><p>As the frail-looking 56-year-old left the courtroom, he smiled at his family, who waved to him and yelled, "Merry Christmas."</p></p> Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ex-blagojevich-fundraiser-tony-rezko-sentenced-prison-second-time-95121 Rezko sentencing sends message on corruption http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-23/rezko-sentencing-sends-message-corruption-94318 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-23/AP Photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tony Rezko, a key player in the corruption that took place under former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison. After court Tuesday, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said he could not think of another sentence that was that harsh for a public corruption case. He said he hopes the message will finally be heard by public officials and the people they conspire with. It is a message that Blagojevich will likely think about as he faces his own sentencing hearing in just two weeks. WBEZ’s criminal and legal affairs reporter Robert Wildeboer joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the cases.</p></p> Wed, 23 Nov 2011 15:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-23/rezko-sentencing-sends-message-corruption-94318 Closing arguments to begin in Cellini trial http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-25/closing-arguments-begin-cellini-trial-93447 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-25/William Cellini (AP PhotoM. Spencer Green, File).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Closing arguments in the trial of William Cellini were scheduled to begin Tuesday. In some ways, Cellini’s case represented the end of an era in Illinois: His could very well be the last trial resulting from the federal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. WBEZ’s criminal and legal affairs reporter <a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/robert-wildeboer" target="_blank">Robert Wildeboer</a> has been covering the Cellini trial and spoke with <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> about the trial and the legal twists and turns of those caught up in the long-running scandal.</p></p> Tue, 25 Oct 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-25/closing-arguments-begin-cellini-trial-93447 Waiting game for reporters covering Blagojevich http://www.wbez.org/content/waiting-game-reporters-covering-blagojevich <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-18/P1000876.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The waiting game at federal court resumes Monday morning as jurors continue deliberations in the corruption retrial of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/timeline-trials-and-tribulations-rod-blagojevich-87969" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-20/timelinepromo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 187px; float: left; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px;" title=""></a>Monday is the sixth day of deliberations, which means it's the sixth day of hanging out in the federal court cafeteria for a couple dozen reporters awaiting the verdict.</p><p>When the verdict is announced, it will probably take the governor a half an hour or more to get to court, but ABC's Paul Meincke says his station will immediately go live with coverage. That means he can't leave because he'll need to be in the building so he has something to describe to his viewers.&nbsp;</p><p>"We wait for Rod Blagojevich to arrive," Meincke said. "We see what he looks like when he goes in.&nbsp; I gotta be able to describe what was his demeanor.&nbsp; I mean you can guess what it would be, but you gotta be there, you gotta see it.&nbsp; You gotta be able to describe who's waiting to get in and then, you gotta be able to get a seat."</p><p>In the meantime Meincke says he's studying up on the case and discussing it with colleagues, though he admits he finds time for some other pursuits:&nbsp; "In the interests of full disclosure, we play games, we watch YouTube, we see some Marx brothers, we have some laughs," said Meincke.</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/waiting-game-reporters-covering-blagojevich 'Purple' razed? Lincolnwood landmark hotel might kiss the sky--or face foreclosure http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-05/purple-razed-lincolnwood-landmark-hotel-might-kiss-sky-or-face-foreclosure-8 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-05/P5013276.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-01/P5013276.jpg" style="width: 499px; height: 375px;" title=""></p><p>The days appear numbered for Lincolnwood's aptly-named Purple Hotel.</p><p>Village attorneys won the right to demolish the shuttered hotel at 4500 W. Touhy if its owner doesn't fix an array of building code violations by August. And now Crain's Chicago Business <a href="http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20110504/CRED03/110509950/notorious-purple-hotel-now-faces-foreclosure">this week reports</a> the hotel owner's lender, First Midwest Bank, has filed a $4.2 million foreclosure suit against the building.</p><p>It would be a sad end for a hotel that isn't a bad piece of architecture--if you can get around the color. The Purple Hotel began life in the Swinging Sixties as the Lincolnwood Hyatt. Back then, the hotel attracted top-shelf performers such as Perry Como, Roberta Flack and Barry Manilow as guests.</p><p>But performers of a different sort gave the hotel its real notoriety - like the Chicago Outfit guys who shot to death Teamsters consultant Allen Dorfman in the Purple's parking lot in 1983. Or political donor Stuart P. Levine who testified in 2008 to having drug and sex parties at the hotel. Levine's testimony was part of the corruption trial for now-imprisoned businessman Tony Rezko.</p><p>Chicago architects Hausner &amp; Macsai designed the Purple Hotel. If you look beyond that purple and the decay, it's actually a fine-looking structure on the exterior. So I figured I better grab some photos of the building while I could.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-05/P5013269.jpg" title="" width="640" height="440"></p><p>These girders hold the weight of the building, passing its heft down to the ground on the outside. I'm wagering this means there are fewer structural columns within the building, allowing for a more open floor plan:</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-01/P5013285.jpg" title="" width="480" height="640"></p><p>An entrance on the west side of the building. I like the glass, brick and symmetry:</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-01/P5013290.jpg" style="width: 498px; height: 217px;" title=""></p><p>A tree struggles in what was once nice outdoor space:</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-01/P5013303.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 375px;" title=""></p><p>Lincolnwood has created a $35 million tax increment finance district that includes the hotel. The Skokie Patch earlier this year<a href="http://skokie.patch.com/articles/tif-plan-for-purple-hotel-advances-without-a-peep"> reported</a> the hotel's owner, Donald Bae sought $25.8 million of that pot to redevelop the property.</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ****</p><p>Postscript: Flickr user Martin Gonzalez got inside the Purple Hotel in 2009 and took some great photos of the unused structure. Even through the photographs I could feel the mold in the place making me itch. But the <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/25165196@N08/sets/72157622041105536/with/3822127034/">images are fun.</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 13:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-05-05/purple-razed-lincolnwood-landmark-hotel-might-kiss-sky-or-face-foreclosure-8 Rezko's attorneys want new trial http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/rezkos-attorneys-want-new-trial <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/81071353_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Attorneys for Tony Rezko are asking for a new trial. They told a federal judge Friday the former political fundraiser was convicted on some charges that have been found to be unconstitutional. Rezko's attorneys say he should get a new trial because the law has changed since his 2008 convictions. They're not asking for a new trial on all his convictions, just some of the charges on which he was found guilty.</p><p>Rezko was a fundraiser for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and was found guilty of taking part in pay-to-play schemes. But Rezko's attorneys say some of those charges were invalidated when the U.S. Supreme Court scaled back the so-called &quot;honest services&quot; statute.</p><p>Prosecutors say no matter how the honest services statute is interpreted, the charges against Rezko should stick.</p><p>Judge Amy St. Eve did not give a decision on a new trial, though she did set a sentencing date for Rezko scheduled for late October.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 17:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/criminal-justice/rezkos-attorneys-want-new-trial Tony Rezko asks judge to delay his sentence http://www.wbez.org/story/corruption/tony-rezko-asks-judge-delay-his-sentence <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/81071353.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tony Rezko will not learn how much time he must serve behind bars until later this year. The former political fundraiser might be called to testify in the upcoming re-trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.</p><p>Rezko had been in solitary confinement in federal jail since he was convicted of fraud and pay-to-play schemes within the Illinois government two and a half years ago. But he was recently moved out of solitary to a county facility with other inmates.</p><p>A clean-shaven, but thin Rezko appeared in front of Judge Amy St. Eve. He complained of a lack of fresh air and contact with his family, but Rezko also said he wants to push his sentencing date back even further until after Rod Blagojevich's re-trial.</p><p>Rezko's attorney told reporters after the court hearing that Rezko may be called as a witness at Blagojevich's next trial, but a spokesman for the prosecutors standing nearby cut in to say there's no word on whether Rezko will be a witness. Prosecutors surprisingly did not call Rezko at Blagojevich's first trial that ended with a hung jury on most counts.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 06 Jan 2011 17:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/corruption/tony-rezko-asks-judge-delay-his-sentence Rezko receives sentencing date http://www.wbez.org/story/rezko-receives-sentencing-date <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-November/2010-11-04/rezko.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A convicted fundraiser for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and other Illinois politicians now has a date to be sentenced. Tony Rezko is scheduled to receive his prison sentence January 28th.<br /><br />He's been in jail since 2008 after he was convicted of taking bribes from companies hoping to do business with the State of Illinois. Rezko was convicted as part of the federal investigation into the Blagojevich administration and he's seen as a potential witness at the former governor's retrial,&nbsp; scheduled to begin in April.<br /><br />Today, Rezko's attorneys told the judge he preferred to be sentenced before the next Blagojevich trial. When asked by reporters why, Rezko's attorney, Joe Duffy would say only, &quot;Stay tuned.&quot; Witnesses in Rezko's situation aren't usually sentenced until after they cooperate and testify so judges can weigh how well they participate as a witness.<br /><br />A spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office would not comment.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Nov 2010 19:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rezko-receives-sentencing-date