Cellini Sentencing Hearing Delayed Again

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge agreed to delay the sentencing of a onetime Springfield powerbroker with ties to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a second time Wednesday because of health issues.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel rescheduled William Cellini’s sentencing for Oct. 4 after lawyers said he was too sick to travel to Chicago.

Jurors convicted Cellini last year of conspiring to squeeze Hollywood executive Thomas Rosenberg for a $1.5 million donation to Blagojevich’s campaign. Prosecutors say Cellini and his cohorts planned to use their influence on an Illinois board and threatened to yank $220 million in state pension money from Rosenberg’s investment company unless he paid up.

Cellini was convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe, which carry a combined maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

His sentencing was delayed once before last month after the 77-year-old reportedly suffered a heart attack. He was treated more recently for a blood clot.

Prosecutors have said Cellini deserves to go to prison for up to eight years for conspiring to extort the Oscar-winning producer of “Million Dollar Baby.” They have argued that prison doctors would be able to adequately treat Cellini, and that failing to imprison the businessman — whose estimated net worth was $153 million in 2005 — could send the message “that different rules apply to the wealthy and powerful.”

But they’ve also conceded his health problems could justify a lesser sentence as long as he is given a “meaningful sentence of incarceration.”

Cellini’s attorneys are believed to favor probation.

Zagel is the same judge who handed Blagojevich a stiff 14-year sentence for corruption that included seeking to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • http://begreattularecounty.info/stuart-levine-a-key-figure-in-blagojevich-case-gets-67-months Stuart Levine, a key figure in Blagojevich case, gets 67 months » County Lawyer's Blog

    […] key testimony against Blagojevich insiders – was sentenced Thursday to 67 months in prison. read full news Published: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 22:49 Tags: a key figure in Blagojevich case, gets 67 months, […]

  • http://travel2chicago.us/chicago-news-stories-forjul-19-2012/ Chicago News Stories for Jul 19 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 Chicago

    […] been charged with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl he was babysitting at his home last fall.Cellini Sentencing Hearing Delayed AgainA federal judge agreed to delay the sentencing of a onetime Springfield powerbroker with ties to […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live