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Tag: Reid Schar

U.S. Attorney Who Prosecuted Blagojevich Heads for Private Sector

Gov. Blagojevich

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Reid J. Schar, lead prosecutor in the Rod Blagojevich corruption retrial in 2011, may have cinched the convictions that sent Blago to prison with the question:

“Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?”

Now Schar, 40, is taking his show on the road. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Schar is leaving the U.S. attorney’s office for the private sector after 13 years of service, not all of them so glamorous as nailing the former governor.

Schar becomes partner at the Chicago law firm Jenner & Block next month, focusing on white-collar criminal defense and investigations.

The Sun-Times points out that there is change afoot in the Chicago’s U.S. attorney’s office, signaled by Patrick Fitzgerald also recently announcing his departure after 10 years.

To read more click here.

Prosecutor to Blago: “You Are a Convicted Liar, Correct?”

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loaded for bear, federal prosecutors began their cross examination Thursday of the ever-chatty ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a very blunt question.

“Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar asked, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Yes,” answered Blagojevich, according to the Trib. His lawyers tried to object.

The question was in reference to his first trial in which prosecutors convicted him on only 1 of 24 counts — lying to the FBI. The jury was deadlocked on the remaining 23 counts.

Prosecutors on Thursday tried to portray Blago as a slippery sort, the Trib reported.

To read more click here.

It’s an Oprah World We Live in; Prospective Blago Juror Wants to Attend Taping of Oprah Show


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Let’s face it: There are few things in life more important than Oprah — at least in some circles.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a prospective juror in the trial of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said she didn’t want the trial to ruin her chance to attend a taping of the Oprah Show, which is in its final season. The final show will air May 25.

She said she has four tickets to attend the May 10 taping. The whole thing came up during the second day of jury selection on Monday.

The Sun-Times reported that U.S. District Judge James Zagel of Chicago said he could reschedule the trial that day, but added: “That seems a little over the top.”

“It’s the last year, judge,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said smiling, according to the Sun-Times.

Interestingly, the paper reported that the judge seemed open to a defense lawyer’s suggestion court be scheduled that day to accommodate the juror. No decision was made.

“Everybody here knows that this juror will survive” if she doesn’t make it to the show, Zagel said, according to the paper.

The paper reported that the juror is Hispanic, is a onetime domestic violence counselor at Mujeres Latinas En Accion, is a mother and a current member of AFSCME Local 106.

Blagojevich is on trial for the second time. In his first trial, he was convicted of 1 of 24 counts — for lying to the FBI. The jury deadlocked on the remaining counts.

U.S. Atty. Fitzgerald Called Rahm Emanuel in 2008 the Day Gov. Blago Was Arrested

Rahm Emanuel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s nice to get a courtesy call from time to time.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that’s just what Rahm Emanuel got from Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald the morning that Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested in Dec. 9, 2008. Emanuel had been selected as President-elect Obama’s chief of staff.

Sun-Times reporter Natasha Korecki reported that Fitzgerald wanted Emanuel to know his name was expected to show up in a criminal complaint filed against the governor.

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

“Members of the U.S. attorney’s office called a series of people to let them know an arrest had been made,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar told the Sun-Times.

Emanuel was never accused of wrongdoing.

Judgment Day For Ex-Illinois Gov Blago

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s judgment day for ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Federal jurors in his public corruption case are expected to get jury instructions on Wednesday and then begin deliberating. Deliberations are likely to take several days and go into next week.

In closing arguments, his attorney Sam Adam Jr. portrayed the ex-governor as a victim with “absolutely horrible judgement in people” who was misled by top advisers and was the target of scalp-hunting FBI agents, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Prosecutors painted him as a seasoned lawyer who refused to take responsibility for his actions as if he was “somehow the accidentally corrupt governor,” the Tribune reported.

“We are all responsible for our own actions,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar said in closings, according to the Tribune.

Blago’s attorney Adams said: “I’m not trying to belittle this — much. But these are the feds, and this is what they bring you? Come on!”