Rezko fought the charges against him, only to be convicted on 16 of 24 counts two years ago. More recently, he made moves to change his plea and his sentencing was postponed indefinitely, raising the possibility he was helping with the prosecution case and might even take the stand. Yet, he couldn't change the contents of a letter he wrote to his trial judge before his conviction:The United States Department of Justice scared of Tony Rezko. We're in a real jam if that's the story. A weak case against the Guv because Fitz scared to call the guy who knows 'cause he might talk about others more Tony'd up than the Guv.
"The prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened. They are pressuring me to tell them the 'wrong' things that I supposedly know about Gov. Blagojevich and Sen. Obama. I have never been party to any wrongdoing that involved the governor or the senator. I will never fabricate lies about anyone else for selfish purposes."
That letter would no doubt be produced by defense lawyers if Rezko were called to the stand. The defense team already has made abundant issue about Hinsdale racetrack owner John Johnston and Willowbrook asphalt executive Gerald Krozel testifying with immunity, and about Monk and fundraiser Joseph Cari, among others, testifying under duress while awaiting favorable sentencing in their cases.
Even Blagojevich's trial judge, James Zagel, said late last month that he considered Rezko a toxic witness who would damage whichever side chose to call him, and that he therefore didn't expect him to be called.
"Rezko scares the prosecutors," said Andrew Stoltmann, a Barrington Hills attorney who's been following the case. "He is a wild card, and prosecutors tend to be scared away from wild cards."
The same would seem to be true of Levine, a key witness against Rezko, but who proved embarrassing to the prosecution with his tales on the stand of marathon drug sessions in hotels with other men.
Levine pleaded guilty to using his position on the boards of the state's Teachers Retirement System and Health Facilities Planning Board to generate millions in kickbacks.
"Rezko and Levine are both wild cards," said Richard Kling of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. "You really have no idea what they're going to say."
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Feds refuse to Tony-up case aganist Blagojevich
And failing to call Rezko looks really weird. Ted Cox in the Daily Herald,