SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 9, 2011

Blagojevich asks to cancel trial

MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press

CHICAGO — Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to cancel his spring retrial and immediately sentence him instead on the sole conviction from his first trial.

The request comes in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago early Wednesday.

The five-page filing says Blagojevich isn't conceding any guilt, including on the conviction of lying to the FBI. That's the only count jurors agreed on at his 2010 trial.

Wednesday's motion says money woes prompted the latest request.

The government's supposed to foot the legal bills for the broke ex-governor. But the motion complains Blagojevich's lawyers haven't been paid, undercutting his ability to mount a defense.

Blagojevich faces a maximum five-year prison term for the lying conviction. Several charges he'd be retried on carry a 20-year sentence.