William Cellini motion, December 4, 2012, Cellini appeal, Obama corruption crony, Judge James B. Zagel, Teachers Retirement System kickbacks
“In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.
In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.”…LA Times April 7, 2008
“Why was Obama promoting Capri Capital and other investment firms at the same time that Rezko, Levine and Cellini were shaking them down?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
William Cellini, who was convicted of 2 counts of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting the solicitation of a bribe on November 1, 2011, and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, has a motion hearing today, December 4, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (As of 12/04/12 at 05:47:05 AM)
Honorable James B. Zagel Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)
1:08-cr-00888 USA v. Cellini 10:15 Notice of Motion
From the Chicago Tribune October 19, 2012.
“William Cellini, the once-powerful Springfield fundraiser and lobbyist, asked a federal judge Thursday to allow him to remain free on bond pending his appeal on a public corruption conviction, claiming that a juror who withheld her felony background from the court raises “unprecedented” legal questions.
Cellini was among the last of more than a dozen political insiders to be convicted in the federal Operation Board Games probe that also snared former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
He is scheduled to report to federal prison in January to serve one year and one day for his role in a plot to extort campaign contributions for Blagojevich from a Hollywood producer seeking to retain his lucrative state business.
In a filing to U.S. District Judge James Zagel, Cellini’s lawyers argued that he has a strong case for appeal, highlighting the legal issues raised after the Tribune revealed following the verdict that juror Candy Chiles had withheld disclosure of felony convictions during jury selection.
The questions raised are so “substantial” that Zagel should release Cellini during the appeal, in part because he could complete his prison sentence before a higher court could act on the legal issues, the motion says.
Three weeks after Cellini was convicted, the Tribune reported that Chiles did not disclose a 2000 felony drug conviction and a 2008 felony DUI conviction on a jury form and when Zagel questioned her in the courtroom.
Cellini’s lawyers sought a new trial, arguing that Chiles lied and that if they had known of her felony background they could have tried to remove her from the jury. They also argued that her felony background should have barred her from jury service.
After a contentious hearing in which a defiant Chiles testified, Zagel denied a new trial, saying she had not deliberately lied and that her failure to disclose her criminal background did not taint Cellini’s 2011 trial. Zagel also dismissed the defense argument that she was not eligible to serve as a convicted felon.
But in his filing Thursday, Cellini argued that the legal questions could earn a reversal from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
“The Court’s decision turned on numerous difficult, hotly contested legal and factual questions that were very close and could be decided the other way — and there is no doubt that if Cellini prevails on that issue on appeal, he will be entitled to a new trial,” Cellini’s lawyers wrote.
Federal prosecutors had no comment Thursday on the request.”
“Following Obama’s efforts, the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System gave Ariel Capital $112.5 million to manage, and added hundreds of millions more over the next few years.”
“Three other minority-run firms — Holland Capital, Loop Capital and Capri Capital Partners — also saw hundreds of millions of assets turned over to them to manage after meeting with Obama and the state pension boards.”
“Capri Capital is a little more interesting.
From the William Cellini Indictment Press Release:”
“Cellini’s alleged crimes – essentially conspiring with others to force Capri Capital, also a real estate investment firm, and Thomas Rosenberg, a principal and part owner of Capri, to raise or donate substantial political contributions for Public Official A – were the subject of testimony earlier this year at the trial of alleged co-conspirator Antoin “Tony” Rezko. Cellini was charged with conspiring with Rezko, former TRS trustee Stuart Levine, the pension fund’s outside lawyer Steven Loren and others between the spring of 2003 and the summer of 2005 to defraud TRS beneficiaries and the people of Illinois of Levine’s honest services as a TRS trustee. TRS, a public pension plan for teachers and administrators in public schools statewide except in Chicago, serves hundreds of thousands of members and beneficiaries and has assets in excess of $30 billion.”
“March 6, 2008″
“Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton talks about how Highland Park businessman
Stuart Levine is central to the government case “
“She also explains how William Cellini, a powerful Republican power
broker, was also allegedly central to many of the alleged kickback
schemes at the Teacher’s Retirement System.
Hamilton finished remarks after an hour. She did not mention the name
of Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, whose U.S. Senate
campaign in 2004 allegedly was the beneficiary of $20,000 in campaign
cash from intermediaries in the kickback schemes the government says
were orchestrated by Rezko.”