Rod Blagojevich lawyers request special hearing, John Wyma testimony, Judge James Zagel, Tony Rezko, Provena Health, Evidentiary hearing request
“Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich
From the Chicago SunTimes November 28, 2011.
“Blago’s lawyers want hearing based on new John Wyma information”
“Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers are asking for a special hearing to discuss what they say is new information regarding a key witness at the former governor’s trial.
They are asking U.S. District Judge James Zagel for an evidentiary hearing regarding the testimony of onetime Blagojevich friend and lobbyist John Wyma, arguing they weren’t allowed to properly cross examine him at trial. It was Wyma’s cooperation in 2008 that led to FBI wiretaps against the now-convicted ex-governor.
In a weekend filing, lawyers questioned whether the government properly vetted information against Wyma that was provided by a cooperating Tony Rezko. Rezko, a onetime fund-raiser to Blagojevich convicted on 16 counts of corruption, was sentenced to 10 ½ years last week.
In filings regarding Rezko’s sentencing, Wyma’s cooperation with the government is discussed, including that Rezko told prosecutors that he tried to extract a campaign contribution through Wyma from Provena Health, whom Wyma represented as a lobbyist at the time.
Lawyers question whether bribery was involved when Provena was granted a certificate of need from an Illinois hospital board. Rezko told prosecutors in private sessions that Provena had a dispute with someone on the hospital board and resolved it by paying the board member, according to the Blagojevich defense filing. Prosecutors say the charge was unsubstantiated.
“Blagojevich did not have any knowledge about and was absolutely unaware of the Provena activities of Rezko and Wyma,” the filing says.
It says after Rezko gave the information to prosecutors, Wyma was hit with a subpoena.
“Shortly after Wyma received this grand jury subpoena, he agreed to be, and became, an informant for the government. This allowed the government to obtain a wiretap on Blagojevich’s telephones,” lawyers wrote.
After the taps were secured, Blagojevich’s lawyers said, prosecutors deemed Rezko’s information “not substantiated.”
“If the incriminating evidence against Wyma was not substantiated because it was not investigated, the government’s statement is misleading,” defense lawyers wrote.
Provena officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Blagojevich’s lawyer, Shelly Sorosky, said the new information was based on filings before Rezko’s sentencing, where both sides agree Rezko’s cooperation led the government to Wyma.”
Thanks to commenter Bessie.