December 10, 2008 |
Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested Tuesday on wide-ranging corruption charges that included an alleged plot to sell the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Obama was not accused of wrongdoing. But the scandal's eruption in the middle of the White House transition cast an unwelcome light on the often-seamy political culture of the state where he launched his career.
November 14, 2008 |
President-elect Barack Obama is resigning his Senate seat effective Sunday. In a statement, he called his four years in the Capitol "one of the highest honors and privileges" of his life. Under state law, Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich will appoint Obama's replacement, who will serve the remaining two years of his term. Blagojevich has ruled out appointing himself. The vice president-elect, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, may remain in the Senate until January. His vote could be needed in the lame-duck session of Congress that begins next week.
October 9, 2008 |
A federal judge in Chicago delayed sentencing for convicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko as one of his lawyers said he was working with prosecutors in hopes of getting a reduced prison term. Sentencing is now set for Dec. 16. "We are trying to work toward an agreement that would affect sentencing," attorney Bill Ziegelmueller said after the hearing. Rezko was a major political fundraiser who bankrolled campaigns of Sen. Barack Obama and Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. He did not supply any money to Obama's current campaign, and the Democratic presidential nominee has not been accused of wrongdoing.
October 7, 2008 |
Federal prosecutors in Chicago moved to delay indefinitely the sentencing of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted in June of mail fraud, wire fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering. The request indicates that he could be cooperating. Speculation has simmered for weeks that the key fundraiser for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama is telling prosecutors what he knows about corruption in state government in hopes of getting a lighter sentence. Some of the crimes carry 20-year sentences.
May 6, 2008 |
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. asked a federal judge to block the Chicago Transit Authority from removing advertisements for its "Grand Theft Auto IV" video game. Take-Two filed suit in federal court, saying the CTA interfered with its right of free speech by removing ads for the game from the transit system. The ads may have been taken off because the game is rated "M," for mature users, according to the complaint. The game maker said it paid $300,000 for a six-week ad campaign and that the ads were removed shortly after they began appearing April 22. The company said that Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich had previously criticized other games in the "Grand Theft Auto" series.