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Judge James Zagel

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich waves to supporters outside his home after returning from his sentencing hearing December 7, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison after being found guilty of 18 charges in two trials including trying to sell President Obama’s vacated senate seat. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Blagojevich Appeal Hearing Focuses On What’s Legal Politics

Blagojevich’s attorneys want the court to toss his corruption convictions or at least agree to slash years off his 14-year prison term, which is one of the longest ever imposed for political corruption in a state where four of the last seven governors have ended up in prison.

12/13/2013

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Blagojevich Defense Team Files Final Brief On Appeal

Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers laid out a final set of arguments in writing before they step before appellate judges next week to argue that the imprisoned ex-governor deserves a new trial.

12/03/2013

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers arrives at court for his arraignment on federal tax charges on March 2, 2012. (CBS)

Judge Denies Beavers’ Bid To Stay Out Of Jail Pending Appeal

A federal judge has denied former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers’ request to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction on tax evasion charges.

11/26/2013

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers arrives at court for his arraignment on federal tax charges on March 2, 2012. (CBS)

Judge Issues Gag Order After Beavers’ Attorneys Claim Jury Pool ‘Rigged’

Sam Adam Jr., an attorney for William Beavers, angrily told reporters Tuesday that he was “outraged” there were no black men in the 50-person jury pool. He suggested its composition was somehow fixed in advance. Beavers is black.

03/13/2013

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers (D-4th)

Beavers’ Jury Pool Has No Black Men; Defense Team Furious

At worse than 100 to 1, the odds of a randomly-selected jury pool in Chicago containing not a single black man might make even the most compulsive gambler cringe.

03/13/2013

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers arrives at court for his arraignment on federal tax charges on March 2, 2012. (CBS)

Judge: Prosecutors Can Mention Beavers’ 2005 Taxes At Trial

Judge James Zagel says prosecutors can broach a 2005 return that included a letter in which Beavers acknowledges $43,000 in campaign money as income. Zagel says it goes to prosecutors’ argument that Beavers understood the requirement to report such money.

03/12/2013

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers arrives at court for his arraignment on federal tax charges on March 2, 2012. (CBS)

Beavers’ Tax Evasion Trial Delayed Again, Until March

A federal judge has set another new date for a Chicago politician’s tax-evasion trial.

12/21/2012

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers (D-4th)

Beavers Can Tell Jury He Repaid Borrowed Campaign Funds If He Testifies

A federal judge has barred Cook County Commissioner William Beavers from telling jurors at his tax evasion trial that he repaid campaign funds he borrowed after he learned of a federal investigation, unless Beavers takes the stand.

CBS Chicago–11/30/2012

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers arrives at court for his arraignment on federal tax charges on March 2, 2012. (CBS)

Judge: Beavers Can’t Tell Jury He Refused Request To Wear A Wire

A federal judge said Thursday that Cook County Commissioner William Beavers can’t tell the jury at his upcoming tax evasion trial that he shot down a request from federal prosecutors to wear a wire as part of an investigation of another prominent Chicago politician.

11/29/2012

Springfield businessman William Cellini has been nicknamed both "The King of Clout" and "The Pope" for his significant influence in Illinois politics. (AP File Photo)

Judge Won’t Reverse Shakedown Conviction Of Powerbroker Cellini

A federal judge Thursday denied one-time political power broker William Cellini’s latest bid for a new trial.

WBBM Newsradio–05/31/2012

John Harris, former Chief of Staff for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, leaves the Dirksen Federal Building following his arraignment on charges related to the racketeering and fraud case against Blagojevich April 16, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. Blagojevich was arraigned April 14 on 16 criminal counts including racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Blagojevich’s Former Top Aide Gets 10 Days In Jail

The man who was Rod Blagojevich’s chief of staff when the former governor was arrested for trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for his role in Blagojevich’s corruption case.

CBS Chicago–03/28/2012

John Harris, former Chief of Staff for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, leaves the Dirksen Federal Building following his arraignment on charges related to the racketeering and fraud case against Blagojevich April 16, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. Blagojevich was arraigned April 14 on 16 criminal counts including racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Blagojevich’s Former Top Aide Seeking Probation At Sentencing

A day after former Gov. Rod Blagojevich reports to prison to begin his 14-year sentence on corruption charges next week, his former chief of staff will be in front of a federal judge, making his plea for leniency for his role in the Blagojevich case.

CBS Chicago–03/08/2012

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Judge Orders Nearly $22K Seized From Blagojevich’s Pension

Exactly two weeks before former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to report to prison, a federal judge has ordered that nearly $22,000 be seized from Blagojevich’s state pension fund to pay off the fines and penalties that were part of his sentence on corruption charges.

CBS Chicago–03/01/2012

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers (D-4th)

Beavers To Be Arraigned On Friday

Cook County Commissioner William Beavers will be arraigned Friday on tax evasion charges for allegedly failing to report and pay taxes on income he earned by using campaign funds and county expense accounts for personal use.

CBS Chicago–02/27/2012

William Cellini leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse after he was convicted of two charges in a conspiracy to shake down a Hollywood producer for a campaign contribution to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (Credit: CBS)

Judge Denies Cellini’s Bid For A New Trial

A federal judge denied a retrial Tuesday for longtime Illinois powerbroker William Cellini, rejecting arguments that he didn’t get a fair trial because a juror lied about her criminal past during jury selection.

CBS Chicago–01/24/2012

Connie Wilson, forewoman of the jury that convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of 17 corruption counts, discusses the 14-year prison sentence he received on Dec. 7, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Blagojevich Lawyers To Ask For New Trial, Claim Juror Broke Rules

Lawyers for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be back in court on Monday to ask for a new trial, claiming misconduct by the forewoman from the jury that convicted him of 17 corruption counts.

CBS Chicago–12/18/2011

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (L) addresses the media while wife Patti Blagojevich holds back tears at the Dirksen Federal Building after he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. (Credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Lawyer Asks Judge To Endorse Blagojevich For Rehab

Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys have asked to have him placed in a drug and alcohol abuse program when he starts his 14-year prison sentence for corruption, though they aren’t saying if the former Illinois governor has a problem or if it’s a legal move.

12/14/2011

Court Case Graphic

Judge Wants To Question Cellini Juror About Convictions; Won’t Seek Reporters’ Notes

A federal judge wants to talk to a juror who failed to disclose her felony convictions before she was seated on the jury that convicted power broker William Cellini, but he won’t force reporters to turn over notes of their interviews with that juror.

CBS Chicago–12/14/2011

Rod Blagojevich

Blagojevich Wins An Extra Month Before Going To Prison

Deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich has won an extra 30 days before he will have to report to prison.

CBS Chicago–12/13/2011

Rod and Patti Blagojevich enter their home after the former governor was sentenced to 14 years in prison. (Credit: Getty Images)

Rod Blagojevich Sentenced To 14 Years In Prison

Ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Wednesday, after apologizing for making “terrible mistakes,” capping a nearly three-year saga for Illinois.

CBS Chicago–12/07/2011

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