Blagojevich’s retrial postponed until April 2011
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich won a delay until April 20 of his scheduled retrial on corruption charges, which means the trial won’t be going on while Chicagoans vote for their next mayor.
Judge James Zagel of the U.S. District Court granted the defense request for a delay, saying the Democrat’s scaled-down defense team will have to “retool” when he is retried on nearly two-dozen corruption counts. Among the charges are that Blagojevich attempted to sell President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.
The first trial ended with Blagojevich convicted of lying to investigators while the jury deadlocked on 23 other counts, leading Zagel to declare a mistrial on those charges. A lone juror was reported to be the holdout among jurors intent on convicting him of additional charges, and prosecutors wanted to retry him in early January.
Testimony spared Obama administration officials any embarrassment, though former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel apparently held discussions about the Senate seat with Blagojevich.
Emanuel resigned earlier this month and is laying the groundwork for a campaign for mayor of Chicago, with the election to replace the retiring Richard Daley taking place Feb. 22.
Blagojevich has kept an unusually low profile lately, though he has said he would welcome another appearance on a reality show. He did speak to a college symposium, for a fee.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes (Blagojevich in 2008)