Last week Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a political fundraiser and business man with ties to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Barack H***** Obama, and others, was convicted on 16 of 24 counts of fraud and extortion. The scene after a conviction like this is fairly routine; unless the judge revokes the defendant’s bail, the defendant leaves, the lawyers promise appeals, etc. Not this time. Tony Rezko’s lawyer announced that Rezko intended to begin serving his sentence immediately.
Mark Brown, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, has an interesting theory: Rezko is afraid. Rezko has a lot of ties to powerful people, who have a definite interest in his not talking. His immediate surrender could be a sign to someone that he is not going to cooperate in any other investigations, and is therefore not a threat, or could be some form of witness protection. There does not appear to be a clear threat from anyone specific, but when you see something like his immediate voluntary surrender, you have to ask why.