Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Cellini Gives Up Bid to Remain Free




    A former Illinois powerbroker has withdrawn his request to remain free pending appeal of his corruption conviction and will start serving a year-long sentence on Jan. 4.

    William Cellini's one-page filing cites "the stress" the case has put on his family and the 78-year-old's poor health.

    Political Power Broker Cellini Found Guilty

    [CHI] Political Power Broker Cellini Found Guilty
    William Cellini is found guilty of trying to shake down the Oscar Award winning movie producer of "Million Dollar Baby." (Published Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011)

    Defense attorney Thomas Kirsch II tells The Associated Press Cellini is considering forgoing any appeal -- even though he believes he would prevail.

    Kirsch said the appeals process would take longer than Cellini's one-year sentence. And he said  Cellini and his family now want to put the legal saga behind them as quickly as possible.

    Fitzgerald: Conviction Sends a "very, Very Loud Message"

    [CHI] Fitzgerald: Conviction Sends a "very, Very Loud Message"
    U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says the William Cellini trial may not have been a glamorous one to which most people paid attention, but it was another important case against corruption. (Published Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011)

    Jurors convicted Cellini last year for trying to extort a movie producer for a $1.5 million contribution for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign. He was sentenced in October to one year and one day in prison.