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Another Blagojevich crony to be sentenced

A public official caught up in corruption under the Blagojevich administration is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

Ali Ata made $127,000 a year as the head of the Illinois Finance Authority. He testified against Rod Blagojevich, saying the governor appointed him to the high-paying job in return for several $25,000 contributions.

Ata described one meeting where he said his check was on the table and Blagojevich started discussing Ata's interest in a job in the administration. Ata testified that on another occasion, at a fundraiser on Navy Pier, Blagojevich told him the job had better be one where he can make some money.

Ata pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his relationship with Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko and lying on his tax returns, under-reporting money he made on a land deal in 2002. Ata's plea agreement calls for a one to one and a half years in prison, though the agreement says prosecutors may request less time given Ata's cooperation with the investigation into Blagojevich.

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