- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)37
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Ray's of Kelso, Plaza by Ray's to change ownership; Fonn to buy enterprise (04/20/16)3
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)4
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
Prominent lawyer may join Blagojevich legal team
CHICAGO -- Prominent criminal defense attorney Terence P. Gillespie may join former governor Rod Blagojevich's legal team, a move that would guarantee Blagojevich at least one solid, battle-hardened veteran defender.
The idea is being explored but no decision has been made, people informed about the discussions said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.
Gillespie declined to comment when reached by telephone late Monday.
He recently represented former Chicago alderman Edward R. Vrdolyak, who was fined $50,000 and placed on five years' probation last month after pleading guilty to a scheme to get a $1.5 million payoff in a real estate deal.
He also defended former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese, who was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2003 after being convicted of racketeering for swindling the town of $12 million.
Veteran defense attorney Sam Adam also has figured prominently in the still-evolving Blagojevich team but has not filed a formal appearance in the case.
Known for his fiery courtroom oratory, Gillespie is the law partner of Edward M. Genson, who resigned as Blagojevich's chief defense counsel in a disagreement with the former governor.
Blagojevich was arrested by FBI agents Dec. 9. He is charged in a criminal complaint with scheming to trade or sell the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President Obama's election.
He also is charged with using his power as governor to squeeze businesses for campaign contributions and pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers who called for his impeachment.
Blagojevich has denied wrongdoing.
Federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has until April 7 to obtain an indictment against Blagojevich from a federal grand jury or an extension of time.
Although it has been more than three months since Blagojevich was arrested, the final lineup of his legal defense team remains unclear.
One person informed about the discussions said Adam's son, Samuel E. Adam, also was in the mix but it was unclear whether he would have a long-term role.