The Tony Rezko verdict have been returned by the jury in his trial on corruption charges. Read about it and see photos below.
Breaking news out of Chicago is that 52-year-old Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko has been convicted on 16 of the 24 counts he was charged with in connection to corruption. He was accused of scheming to get bribes from businesses that were seeking state contracts. The Tony Rezko verdict was delivered by the jury today at the end of nine-weeks of trial. Rezko opted to be taken into custody immediately and was escorted from the courtroom directly to jail.
Rezko has been connected to Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. He has served as a political fundraiser for both men. And raise funds he did!
Rezko and Obama have been friends since Obama entered politics. Tony Rezko was involved a 2005 real estate deal with Obama. The deal had to do with Rezko helping Obama get a lovely several million dollar home in Chicago at a extraordinarily good price. Rezko bought the adjoining lot and has sold a piece of it to Obama when Obama wanted to expand. Obama has admitted his involvement in that deal was ‘boneheaded’, but he did get a very, very nice piece of property. How does one turn down such a deal?
There was very little testimony in the trial about the relationship between Obama and Rezko. Most of the testimony had to do with his relationship as a top adviser to Governor Blagojevich. Neither Obama nor Blagojevich have been charged with any back room dealings in connection with Rezko as yet. I have absolute confidence that there is absolutely no connection between any of this and the nearly $98 million in pork barrel requests made by Obama his first turn at the pork trough in the Senate.
This tale isn’t over. In fact, this may very well be just the opening salvo. Tony Rezko still faces another set of federal charges that allege loan fraud in connection with his pizzeria chain. There are a lot of questions left unanswered. Rezko made a career haunting the halls of powerful politicians in Illinois. He connected powerful people with monied people. Favors for favors. Favors for money or houses or property or enormous raises for one’s spouse or whatever was offered that would warrant a political favor in return. Will Rezko be offered deals to tell more about who he did what for? Undoubtedly. I’m sure there are a lot of sweaty palms in houses of power in Chicago right now.
The question is whether Tony Rezko will talk or not. Is he more afraid of time in prison or of the politicians he has gotten money for. If he does talk, we might get to find out just how deep this rabbit hole goes.