Apr 2, 2009

Fitzmas in April!

Many of you may remember that the dear former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, was unceremoniously arrested by the Feds in December of last year.

Today, Chicago was on 'Blago Indictment Watch'. Why? Well, he basically had to be indicted today. That's because Blago was originally arrested on a 'criminal complaint'. According to the law, upon arrest under a criminal complaint, the U.S. Attorney has 30 days to file an indictment. Pat Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney extraordinaire, filed a motion to extend the indictment requirement by 90 more days, citing the need to go through hours of recorded calls and to talk with many, many potential witnesses. That 90 days would have been up next Tuesday. Since it was expected that Fitzgerald would need some buffer time in case he didn't get a true bill, most media outlets guessed today. Add that today the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that it would have a press release on a 'very important criminal matter', and even the densest among us could figure what was coming.

Blago is being charged under the confusing and difficult "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act" or RICO (18 U.S.C. §§1961-68), which was created to go after gangs and the Mafia. Along with him are his brother, Rob, two former assistants, and two businessmen that were deeply involved in his doings. The link for the indictment is here. Happy reading!

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