No luck for Rezko

No luck for Rezko

Posted by JP on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:39

Daily Herald Political Reporter Joseph Ryan files this report regarding Blagojevich pal Tony Rezko.

Despite hiring a high-powered attorney in Las Vegas, it doesn't look like embattled insider Tony Rezko is going to catch a break.

Richard Wright, of the law firm Wright, Judd & Winckler, is reportedly attempting to convince prosecutors to back off an arrest warrant for bounced checks and accept some partial payments toward his $450,000 tab at two Strip casinos.

The Las Vegas Sun, which has been leading the coverage as the local paper on the latest Rezko scandal, reported today the Clark County District Attorney isn't biting.

"Unless we receive payment in full, we will move to extradite Mr. Rezko after he's arrested," David Roger told the Sun. "The U.S. Marshals have assured us that they will execute the warrant at the appropriate time."

Meanwhile, efforts to put Rezko in jail continue on other fronts.

Jurors in his high-stakes Chicago corruption trial have a pre-scheduled day off from deliberations today. They will resume deliberations Monday morning.

The panel of 10 women and two men is contemplating 24 criminal counts, ranging from mail fraud to extortion, following a two-month trial in which bombshell pay-to-play accusations were made against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Jurors also heard testimony that Rezko and other schemers, mostly from the state's Republican establishment, hoped to pull strings in the White House to oust U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as his investigators closed in on the scam.

Federal prosecutors accuse Rezko of orchestrating a scheme to use his clout with Blagojevich to extort millions of dollars from state contractors in 2003 and 2004.

If by chance jurors don't convict -- prosecutors do lack 'smoking gun' evidence and are relying on turncoat testimony -- then Fitzgerald is also waiting to take Rezko to trial on charges of loan fraud tied to his pizza chain business.

It remains unclear exactly win Rezko will face the two counts of check bouncing charges in Las Vegas.

Few in the public knew Rezko was such a heavy gambler before the warrant news broke Thursday.

He is accused of passing several bounced checks for gambling chips at Caesars Palace and Bally's in mid-2006 totaling $450,000. Separately, he reportedly owes the Bellagio $331,000 in gambling debt.

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