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Rod Blagojevich sentencing delayed, possibly due to scheduling conflict

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at a federal courthouse for a hearing in Chicago July 15, 2011. AP Photo

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives at a federal courthouse for a hearing in Chicago July 15, 2011. It is Blagojevich's first time in court since a jury convicted him of multiple corruption counts in June. Judge James Zagel warned Blagojevich that he could lose his Chicago home and a condo in Washington if he tried to flee or otherwise violated his bond terms.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - A federal judge delayed on Monday the sentencing of ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, which was originally set for next week.

Blagojevich was convicted on multiple corruption charges, including attempted extortion for trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat in exchange for campaign donations or a high-paying job.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel said that Blagojevich's Oct. 6 sentencing date has been "stricken until further order by the court," in a notice posted electronically.

Earlier this year, jurors found Blagojevich, 54, guilty on 17 of 20 corruption charges.

Monday's filing did not offer a reason for the delay. But there had been speculation that the impeached governor's sentencing would be pushed back due to a scheduling conflict with another, related trial: that of lobbyist-businessman  William Cellini.

Cellini,76, is a former fundraiser for Blagojevich and is accused of conspiring with others to extort a campaign contribution for Blagojevich from a Hollywood film producer. Before his arrest, he was considered one of the top behind-the-scenes powerbrokers in Illinois.

Cellini's trail is scheduled to start Oct. 3 and Zagel is also the presiding judge in that case.

Blagojevich faces a maximum of 305 years behind bars if he were to receive consecutive sentences for each individual count, according to CBS station WBBM.

However, legal experts have said it is likely he'll be sentenced to somewhere between 6 and 15 years.

WBBM reports that although prosecutors have yet to make a recommendation on Blagojevich's sentence, they have calculated that he could face 30 years to life in prison.

Complete coverage of Rod Blagojevich on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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