Blagojevich Blog: The Players in the Blagojevich Retrial

Curious about those involved in the Blagojevich retrial? Here’s a list of who is representing both sides, and the judge in charge of it all:

Judge Zagel

Judge James Zagel: Blagojevich’s first trial took place before Judge James Zagel. Zagel currently serves in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Previously, he served as the director of the Illinois Department of Revenue and the director of the Illinois Department of State Police. He received his law degree from Harvard in 1963.

 

 

 

 

PROSECUTION

Reid Schar

Reid Schar: Schar is the deputy chief of public corruption in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he coordinates the environmental crimes unit and serves as the ethics adviser for the office in the criminal division. He was involved in the prosecution of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Blagojevich’s friend and fundraiser. Schar received his law degree from Northwestern, where he has been an adjunct professor since 2002.

 

 

 

 

Carrie Hamilton

Carrie Hamilton: Hamilton is an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois, and serves as the coordinator for the child exploitation and prostitution unit. Like Schar, she was involved with the prosecution of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and she was also part of the prosecution of ex-death row inmate Aaron Patterson. A Bloomington, Ill. native, Hamilton received her law degree from Northwestern.

 

 

 

 

Christopher Niewoehner

Chris Niewoehner: Niewoehner is deputy chief of General Crimes in the U.S. Attorney’s office. He was involved in the prosecution of Aaron Patterson, as well as that of former Ald. Ed Vrdolyak. He has been a part of the U.S. Attorney’s office since 2000, and received his law degree from Harvard.

 

 

 

 

 

DEFENSE

Sheldon Sorosky

Sheldon Sorosky: A holdover from Blagojevich’s first defense team, Sheldon Sorosky is half of the defense firm Kaplan & Sorosky. He served as an assistant state’s attorney from 1967 to 1972 before starting his private practice. Interestingly, he represented Deborah Mell, Blagojevich’s sister-in-law and daughter of Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) after she allegedly charged a police officer during a rally for gay marriage. She was acquitted.

 

 

 

 

Aaron Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein: The youngest of the lawyers on Blagojevich’s team for the first trial, Goldstein is sticking around for the second round. Goldstein is in his mid-30s and rents office space from Sam Adam Jr. and his father, the flashy team that lead the Blagojevich defense in the first trial. He is a Chicago native, and he received his law degree from the University of Iowa. Before opening his law practice, Goldstein worked as a public defender.

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