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Cellini trial starts Monday

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

The trial of a former high school teacher who came to be known as the pope of Illinois politics gets underway Monday with jury selection. William Cellini is the subject of the last major trial stemming from the decade-long federal investigation of former Gov. Rod
Blagojevich. The millionaire businessman is charged with conspiring to shake
down the Oscar-winning producer of “Million Dollar Baby” for a $1.5 million donation to Blagojevich. He’s denied any wrongdoing. Blagojevich was convicted at retrial this year of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. Two trials revealed him as charismatic but lacking discipline. The 76-yeaer-old Cellini is in many ways Blagojevich’s opposite. He’s stayed behind the scenes but gained a reputation as savvy,
meticulous and a man not to be crossed.

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