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Ex-Prosecutor: Rezko’s Sentence A Bad Sign For Blagojevich

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Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich

Tony Rezko (left) and Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A 10 1/2-year sentence for political fundraiser Tony Rezko is not a good sign for deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich, according to a former federal prosecutor.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, the Blagojevich and Rezko cases are not legally connected to each other, and are before different judges. But former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Cramer says the sentences have to make sense in relationship to each other.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

He says he does not see a scenario where Rezko would serve more time than Blagojevich, the man who was benefiting from some of the schemes Rezko was convicted of.

Cramer expects Blagojevich’s sentence to be 12 to 15 years – higher than the 7 to 10 years he predicted before Rezko learned his fate.

Cramer says of course, U.S. District Judge James Zagel can do whatever he wishes, within the guidelines, when he sentences the ex-governor on Dec. 6.

Rezko was sentenced Tuesday morning by U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve to concurrent terms of 10 1/2 years and 10 years. He will get credit for time served, which means he will be out of prison in about seven years.

Rezko was found guilty by a federal jury in June 2008 of squeezing millions of dollars from firms for the privilege of state business.

In his second trial, Blagojevich was convicted this summer of 17 various corruption counts, including charges he tried to sell or trade an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama in late 2008. His first trial had resulted in a hung jury on all but one count, a conviction for lying to the FBI.

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