On a 1999 flight from Kosovo to Washington, D.C. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, then a US congressman, confers with his chief of staff John Wyma. Also pictured are Jesse Jackson and James Meeks. Photo by John H. White-Sun-Times
On cross examination, defense lawyer Sheldon Sorosky came right out and accused Wyma of essentially being a "spy" for the government -- a word the prosecution and the judge agreed was out of bounds.
Sorosky established that Wyma had lobbied for Provena Hospitals before the health facilities planning board when the hospital was looking to win approval for a new heart program. He said Wyma got help on a matter before the board from Tony Rezko, who was subsequently investigated by the FBI.
That is the reason Wyma was already scheduled to speak to the FBI, when he took them the matter involving Blagojevich -- he was being looked at as a criminal. Sorosky suggested that was Wyma's motivation to cooperate, essentially trying to save his own skin on an unrelated matter.
When Sorosky accused him of being a "spy," however, Judge James Zagel interjected.
"Why don't you NOT use the word, spy," Zagel said. The judge has sustained 44 objections during Sorosky's cross examination and has excused the jury twice to admonish the defense attorney for his line of questioning.