William Cellini to be released from prison; Illinois businessman asking for favors from federal judge upon supervised release

William Cellini, a politically-connected Illinois businessman will finish his stay in the United States Bureau of Prisons Wednesday by asking for a few favors from a federal judge.
December 4, 2013 2:57:00 AM PST
A politically connected Illinois businessman will finish his stay in the United States Bureau of Prisons Wednesday by asking for a few favors from a federal judge.

When you are an influence-peddler in Illinois, apparently the angling never ends. William Cellini, a friend to governors and presidents, wants a little consideration from a federal judge.

Cellini leaves a halfway house Wednesday according to court papers obtained by the I-Team and wants some special adjustments to the terms of his supervised release, treatment not normally seen by rank and file ex-convicts.

Bi-partisan power broker Cellini was convicted in 2011 trying to shakedown an Oscar-winning film producer. Cellini wanted a million and a half dollar campaign contribution to then Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Tuesday night, on the eve of Cellini's release from this Chicago halfway house, the political tactician is less flamboyant, but no less bold.

His attorneys have filed a motion to travel. They want a federal judge to modify the conditions of his supervision the next two years to permit free travel outside the Illinois judicial district without first seeking permission of court as is customary for ex-cons on supervised release.

Cellini is 79 years old, the filing notes, and has had significant health issues, but apparently wants to travel around the world without the burden of getting permission, as Judge James Zagel required in his sentence.

Zagel sentenced Cellini to one year and one day in federal prison, a sentence he fulfilled a month ago. But now he wants a little consideration when he returns home from the halfway house tomorrow.

Always prepared, Cellini's motion addresses the possibility that Judge Zagel denies the special request.

Cellini would settle for this favor: Keep his travel plans secret from the public. According to the filing, public disclosure would serve no legitimate purpose and could expose Cellini and his family to needless scrutiny and a potential intrusion into their personal lives.

Cellini's attorneys are scheduled to appear in front of Judge James Zagel a week from Wednesday to present the motion so that so that the onetime kingmaker of Springfield can get on with his life coming and going from Illinois as he pleases.


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