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U.S. Atty. Fitzgerald’s Star Reputation on Line in Blago Trial

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

When he announced the charges in late 2008, Chicago’s U.S. attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald, came at Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich with all the bravado of Eliot Ness going after Al Capone in the movie “The Untouchables.”

He told a throng of reporters that Blagojevich had embarked on a “corruption crime spree” and added, with a touch of the melodramatic, that the Democratic governor’s crimes “would make Lincoln turn over in his grave.” Blagojevich responded by hitting the talk show circuit, calling the charges unfounded and criticizing Fitzgerald.

Now, 20 months later, Fitzgerald’s bravado and stellar reputation are being tested in the public corruption trial of Blagojevich. After 12 days of jury deliberations, the outcome seems more uncertain than ever.

On Thursday, the jury informed U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel that they had reached agreement on just two of 24 counts, and that they could not reach a decision on 11. To boot, they said they hadn’t even gotten to the other 11 counts of wire fraud. The judge directed them to keep deliberating. The jury took Friday off and returns Monday.

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