Ex-Ill. powerbroker sentenced to year in prison

By Sophia Tareen

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4 2012 3:55 p.m. MDT

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2011, file photo Illinois powerbroker William Cellini arrives in federal court in Chicago for his corruption trial. The onetime powerbroker with links to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012.

Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

CHICAGO — Former Illinois powerbroker William Cellini has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for conspiring to shake down a movie producer.

A federal judge sentenced the 77-year-old Cellini on Thursday. His trial was the last to stem from an investigation of imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Cellini was convicted last year for his role in trying to get a $1.5 million campaign contribution for Blagojevich from Oscar-winning producer Thomas Rosenberg in exchange for state business.

Federal prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of up to eight years.

Defense attorneys wanted probation. Last week, they filed papers that included hundreds of letters from Cellini supporters, including former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar.

Cellini was known as the King of Clout for his behind-the-scenes influence in state government

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