|Former Rezko mansion, Wilmette, IL|
The pair go back to the 1990s and Obama's state Senate years, but they are best known for the still-not-completely-explained 2005 real estate deal that allowed the Obamas to buy their Chicago South Side mansion, while Rezko's wife bought a narrow strip of the home's lot on the same day. At that time, Rezko was under federal investigation for influence peddling and fraud while serving as a deal maker for since-disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich.
In 2003, Rezko held a crucial fundraiser for Obama's US Senate campaign at his Chicago North Shore home--the future president was seen as a decided underdog in the race at that time.
Rezko was found guilty of a fraud and money laundering in 2008. Rather than posting bond, Rezko has been awaiting sentencing while being held alternately in a Wisconsin jail and Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center. Federal prosecutors wanted him nearby in case he was needed as a witness in the trial of downstate power broker William Cellini and the two Blagojevich trials.
Rezko's attorneys will request that the onetime real estate developer, fast food businessman, and yes, slumlord be sentenced to time served, the Chicago Tribune is reporting. But the feds want 11 to 15 years.
Oh, odd thing about that Trib article. President Obama isn't mentioned in it.
Media bias, anyone? Well, Chicago's other daily newspaper, the Sun-Times, thought Obama's ties to Rezko was newsworthy in its Rezko pre-sentencing write-up.
June 27, 2003: Tony Rezko hosts an Obama fund-raiser at his mansion
Technorati tags: Illinois Democrats Obama politics Barack Obama Chicago Tony Rezko corruption legal Wilmette Chicago North Shore cronyism Rezko Blagojevich graft