William Cellini status hearing January 11, 2012, New trial for Cellini?, Juror Candy Chiles enough to overturn conviction?
“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 just think it’s very, very disturbing that we have these pay-to-play allegations going on for years.”…Patrick Fitzgerald
“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren
*** Update Below ***
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, is scheduled for a status hearing on January 11, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 (As of 01/11/12 at 05:46:42 AM )
Honorable James B. Zagel Courtroom 2503 (JBZ)
1:08-cr-00888 USA v. Cellini 02:00 Status Hearing
“Cellini juror defiantly denies bias
Woman who failed to disclose her criminal past is openly hostile to defense attorney”
“In between colorful tirades aimed at William Cellini’s lawyer Friday, a juror in the Springfield power broker’s case acknowledged that she misled the court about her criminal past during jury selection but said she followed the judge’s orders to be fair-minded during the trial.
Candy Chiles, a 50-year-old child care provider from the South Side, made no attempt to hide her disdain for the attorney, Dan Webb, during a daylong hearing aimed at determining whether her equivocations masked a bias toward the judicial process. At one point, she shouted at Webb to sit down because he was getting on her nerves.
“Don’t make a fool out of me,” she said. “I sat here for five weeks and watched the way you work. I know what you’re doing.”
Heated responses are rare in the staid federal courthouse, where decorum typically prevails. And such daggers are certainly seldom thrown at Webb, a former U.S. attorney who is considered to be one of the nation’s top lawyers.
Chiles, however, said she resented being used as a scapegoat in Cellini’s efforts to get his conviction overturned.
“You’re trying to see if I’m a liar so you can get him off?” Chiles said as her voice choked with emotion. “Leave me alone! Leave me alone!”
U.S. District Judge James Zagel cut that outburst short by ordering a 90-minute recess. Chiles quickly walked out of the courtroom, shaking her head and muttering about the defense team.
It was one of her many blowups at Webb during his pointed, two-hour examination, which centered on whether Chiles knew she was being untruthful when she told the court she had not been arrested or convicted of a crime. He also questioned whether Chiles misled the court when she said she had never been involved in a civil lawsuit, despite being sued in four eviction proceedings.
Chiles repeatedly said she didn’t know that those counted as lawsuits.
“Do not do me like this,” she said from the jury box in Zagel’s courtroom. “I am not a criminal. I didn’t steal anything. … Damn you.”
Zagel — who did not order background checks on potential jurors before the high-profile trial — called the hearing to determine if Chiles’ false answers denied Cellini a fair trial. He is expected to hear arguments from both the defense and prosecution later this month before ruling.
Zagel acknowledged that Chiles hadn’t been truthful in her answers to the court during jury selection.
“I think it’s pretty clear … you did not give complete answers to these questions,” the judge said. “In a way, you did not follow the instructions of the court to answer truthfully.”
Prosecutors did not question Chiles during the hearing but made several successful objections to questions Webb asked about her past. Chiles smiled at them and said “thank you” as she left the courtroom after questioning of her ended.
Chiles, who indicated she never wanted to be picked for jury duty, said that she didn’t reveal a 2000 drug conviction because she had put the incident behind her.
“It’s in my past. I never mention it at all, that foolishness in my life,” she said.
Chiles also did not tell the court about a felony DUI conviction in 2008 and an assault arrest in 1994. She initially told the judge that she didn’t know why she failed to disclose those cases but later said that she was confused and nervous during jury selection.
But to overturn a conviction, the defense must prove that the juror had bias or prejudice toward the judicial process. Chiles insisted she had been fair to Cellini and had followed all other jury instructions.
Cellini’s lawyers are seeking a new trial based in part on revelations in a Nov. 11 Tribune story that Chiles failed to disclose two felony convictions.”
Cellini background info from Citizen Wells January 5, 2012
“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, is scheduled for a evidentiary hearing on Friday,January 6, 2012 in the courtroom of Judge James Zagel. The Mainstream media has done it’s part in conjunction with the Justice Department to keep Obama out of this story.”