- By Allan Lengel/ticklethewire.com
- Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich – (Chicago) Now this guy knows how to put on a show. He toured the New York talk show scene while the Illinois Senate was preparing to behead him. Now he’s an ex-gov, but don’t expect him to tone down his act. And don’t expect U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to back down. Of for that matter, Pres. Obama to replace the Republican-appointed Fitzgerald with a Dem-appointment in midst of this mess. More drama to come. No trial date yet
- Bernie Madoff – (New York) If someone in New York ever decides to sell Bernie Madoff piñatas, they’ll make a fortune. And speaking of fortunes: Where’d Bernie hide all the cash? This story has more drama than a Meryl Streep movie. Expect lots more tears, lots more whining and revelations about lots of rich people – or make that former rich people – some who have been left with as much savings as a 7-11 clerk working his way through college. A Jan. 12 preliminary exam set.
- Barry Lamar Bonds – (San Francisco) – We love him. We hate him. We loved to watch him hit home runs even to the backdrop of fans booing. But will he strike out in court? Trial for perjury and obstruction of justice charges in the steroid scandal is set for March 2.
Bernie Kerik -(New York) No one has gone from hero to heel quicker than Bernie Kerik – unless maybe you count ex- Sen. John Edwards. Kerik was a centimeter away from becoming Secretary of Homeland Security with the help of a ringing endorsement from pal Rudy Giuliani. Now of days, in the law enforcement field, he’d be lucky to get a security guard job at Popeyes fried chicken on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. He faces charges of tax fraud and making false statements regarding the background checks for his appointment as head of Homeland Security.
Ex-Rep. William J. Jefferson – (Alexandria, Va.) This public corruption case has had more delays than O’HARE International Airport during a snowstorm. The FBI first raided his home in New Orleans and Washington on Aug. 3, 2005. Then agents raided his office in May 2006 and opened a can of worms that tied them up with a bundle of legal challenges in court. Early on in the case, the Congressman explored a possible plea agreement. It never went very far. Now he’s trying to appeal the government to death. No trial date yet in this bribery-public corruption case. But odds are the trial will finally happen sooner than later. Question is: Is the case as sexy now that Jefferson is an ex-Congressman?
- Five Blackwater Security Guards (Washington) – The feds say these guys loaded and shot Iraqi citizens like they were in a pinball arcade. The guards say they have a defense. Look for a major knock out, dragged out battle here. These guys obviously know how to fight. We’ll see how their attorneys do. The judge just set jury selection for Jan. 29, 2010. Until then, expect lots of motions and battles in court.
Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford – (Birmingham, Ala.) When you see this indictment you might think someone got a little “count” happy. Langford and two co-defendants face a 101-count indictment. It might be easier to count 101 Dalmations. Hard to imagine how long it will take a jury to plow through those counts. Then again, with so many, at least one has got to stick. The mayor faces bribery,fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns at trial, which is set for May 4.
John Gotti Jr. – (New York) This wiseguy knows his way around a courtroom, just like dad, who died in prison in 2002. On August 5, he was arrested on conspiracy charges in Florida in connection with a major cocaine ring and the slayings of three New Yorkers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A few months later, the case was transferred to New York, his home turf. A “Sammy the Bull” like-government snitch – just like dad had – could prove troublesome for the cocky Gotti. No trial date set.
Ex-Rep. Rick Renzi – (Tucson) This guy is stealing the playbook from Rep Jefferson, invoking an oddly named law: Speech or Debate Clause. He’s charged in a land swap deal that involves charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, extortion and insurance fraud. His attorneys are filing multiple motions saying that feds violated the Speech or Debate Clause (like Jefferson), which protects speech and documents related to legislative activity. Trial is set for March 24
- Ex-Mass. State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson – (Boston) It’s never good when the feds have a photo of you slipping some bribe money under your sweater and into your bra. It’s a tough image to shake loose from a juror’s mind during trial. Apparently Wilkerson was the target of an FBI sting in which she allegedly took $23,500 in bribes. She resigned in November. No trial date. A status conference is set for Jan. 22.