A day after Barack Obama made history, an unfortunate figure from his past was back in the headlines. Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a former Obama fundraiser, was convicted of 16 corruption charges. Obama said he was “saddened,” but took the opportunity to get in another plug for change: “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform.”
For the record, the charges against Rezko had nothing to do with Obama.
CHICAGO—Antoin Rezko, a Chicago businessman and longtime fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), was convicted of 16 felony corruption charges Wednesday in a case that alleged influence peddling in the upper reaches of the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).
After two months of vivid testimony about political profiteering in Illinois state government, the 12-member jury found Rezko guilty of using his clout as a Blagojevich insider to shake down companies hoping to do business with the state. The 16 counts included fraud, money laundering and abetting bribery. Rezko was acquitted of eight counts, including extortion.