Broke Blago May Need Public Funding for Defense - NBC Chicago
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Broke Blago May Need Public Funding for Defense



    Broke Blago May Need Public Funding for Defense
    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich smiles at a supporter as he departs the federal courthouse after his defense team rested without calling any witnesses in his federal corruption trial Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Chicago.

    As juror contemplate the fate of former governor Rod Blagojevich for the tenth day Tuesday, Chicago taxpayers have something of their own to contemplate.

    They could be kicking in for his legal bills.

    Blago’s campaign fund, which thus far has been paying his team of lawyers, is all but depleted. There’s only about $75,000 of the $2.8 million left in the coffers and Sam Adam Jr. and the rest of the crew still haven’t been paid for the month of July.

    If the fund goes dry, the legal team will have to petition Judge James Zagel to approve the use of public money.

    It’s a scenario that many, including Zagel, expected. At the beginning of the trial Zagel ordered that campaign fund money be used instead of public funds. But he said if the use of public funds became necessary, the legal team would be paid a $110-per-hour rate that public defenders are paid.

    Before Zagel approves the formal request the legal team would have to prove that all of Blagojevich’s assets have been tapped.

    Maybe he could sell some suits.