Your NPR news source

Blagojevich prosecutions wind down

SHARE Blagojevich prosecutions wind down
Blagojevich prosecutions wind down

The prosecution of corruption in the administration of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is winding down.

AP/Nam Y. Huh

The prosecution of corruption in the administration of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is winding down as attorneys are expected to give their closing arguments Tuesday in the trial of William Cellini.

Cellini is the last Blagojevich co-defendant to go on trial and, in fact, his will likely be the last trial arising from the long-running investigation known as “Operation Board Games.” Federal prosecutors netted convictions and plea deals from a long list of political insiders whose names are now well known, such as Tony Rezko and Stuart Levine. Blagojevich’s brother, Robert, also went on trial, though the jury was split on Robert’s guilt. Prosecutors subsequently dropped the charges.

Cellini is a Republican businessman who used his deep political contacts to get state business. The charges against him arose from conversations he had with Stuart Levine in 2004. Federal authorities were secretly recording Levine’s phones because he was suspected of giving out state contracts to companies who gave Blagojevich campaign contributions. Cellini is charged with trying to help Levine in one of those campaign kickback schemes.

Listen to Cellini muse about a possible investigation into Blagojevich’s administration.

Listen to Cellini explain what to do if the feds start investigating.

The Latest
A report says US police departments face a three-fold crisis: an erosion of community trust, a violent-crime surge, and dwindling police staffing. Host: Mary Dixon; Reporter: Chip Mitchell
David Brown was appointed superintendent of the Chicago Police Department less than three years ago.
The governor says he is visiting “liberal cities” who he says are too soft on crime.
The Bureau of Prisons is shutting down a unit at its newest penitentiary in Illinois, following an investigation by NPR and The Marshall Project that exposed it was rife with violence and abuse.