Obama fundraiser Rezko gets 10 1/2 years

But you'd never know that from reading the story in the Chicago Tribune. The name "Barack Obama" appears nowhere in this story reporting on the sentence received by one of the key figures in Obama's life - a man who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his state senate and US senate runs, who introduced him to movers and shakers in the shadowy world of big money real estate wheelers and dealers, and who befriended him on numerous occassions, including the favor he did him when he purchased the lot next door to his current home.

Will anyone even ask Obama for a statement on the fate that has befallen his former friend?

You defrauded the people of Illinois, you engaged in extensive corruption throughout the state of Illinois," the judge said, adding that she hoped other politicians would take note of the penalty for corruption.

"This sentence must send a message that enough is enough," she said.

Rezko asked St. Eve for mercy and apologized to the court, his friends and family. "I come to ask for God's forgiveness and the court's mercy.

"I deeply regret my conduct," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions."

Rezko told the judge his brother, sister and favorite cousin passed away during his incarceration, and no punishment could be greater than the guilt he feels for not being with them when they were dying.

A gaunt Rezko, clad in a prison uniform and shackled at the ankles, bore little resemblance to the robust millionaire whose trial was held more than three years ago -- a transformation even St. Eve mentioned.

"Just looking at you physically is evidence of the great fall that you have had," she said to Rezko, who stood before her with his arms crossed.

Rezko showed no initial reaction when the sentence was handed down, but several relatives began crying.

Several family members called out 'we love you" as Rezko was led away.

A pardon of Rezko by Obama would not surprise anyone.

For those who have forgotten, here are the outlines of the Rezko-Obama relationship:

Rezko, an Obama fundraiser, helped facilitate Obama's purchase of a $1.65 million mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood for $300,000 below the asking price. The owner wished to sell both the house and an adjoining lot. Mrs. Rezko paid the full asking price of $625,000 on the same day that the Obamas purchased their luxury home. At a substantial discount. The seller denies that there was any connection between the two transactions. Later, a small portion of the land was sold to the Obamas so that they could expand their garden.
Senator Obama calls this arrangement a "mistake."



On June 13, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that as a state senator, Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting Rezko's successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens. The Sun-Times said the deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and his partner, Allison S. Davis, Obama's former boss, according to records from the project, which was four blocks outside Obama's state Senate district.


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