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Lawyer: Likely delay in Blago sentencing

Rod Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich

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Updated: November 24, 2011 12:28AM



After a federal judge said Friday that the criminal trial of Springfield millionaire William Cellini will go forward Oct. 3, Rod Blagojevich’s lawyer said he’s “quite certain” the ex-governor’s sentencing will be delayed.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who will sentence Blagojevich, asked prosecutors to have witnesses for the Cellini trial ready for Oct. 5.

Attorney Sheldon Sorosky said Blagojevich’s Oct. 6 sentencing “is not going to happen. ... It would taint the Cellini jury. I’m quite certain it will be continued.”

Cellini, a top Republican fundraiser and powerbroker, was a onetime co-defendant of Blagojevich. He’s accused of trying to extort a businessman into giving a campaign contribution to Blagojevich.

In court Friday, Cellini’s lawyer, Dan Webb, raised questions about publicity involving Blagojevich in general affecting his client and asked that potential jurors be questioned individually.

Webb asked Zagel in court about the ex-governor’s sentencing date, and the judge cut him off, saying “we’ll deal with that later.”

A pre-sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday for Blagojevich, and Sorosky said he expects Zagel to set a new sentencing date that day.



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