Blago chums bailing on court dates

Trying to distance themselves from damaged-goods governor?
April 13, 2009 8:18:36 AM PDT
Twenty-four hours from the beginning of "B-Day" in federal court, when the arraignments are to begin for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his alleged corruption co-conspirators, two of his top associates may be trying to distance themselves from the disgraced ex-governor.Springfield powerbroker and business-tycoon William F Cellini, Sr., was scheduled to stand with Blagojevich at Tuesday morning's arraignment by U.S. District Judge James Grady. According to court records, Cellini won't be there. He will be arraigned separately, on Wednesday at 10 a.m., in the same courtroom.

That means ex-Gov. Blagojevich and his brother Robert, the director of the "Friends of Blagojevich" campaign fund, will appear in court for the 11 a.m. Tuesday arraignment with former campaign go-to man Christopher Kelly.

There is speculation that Kelly may opt out of Tuesday's arraignment as well, trying to avoid the spectacle of the Blagojevich brothers together in court. However, Kelly has not filed a request for a new arraignment date.

Former Rod Blagojevich chief of staff Alonzo Monk has also been granted a new date. Mr. Monk, now a Park Ridge lobbyist, will be separated by a full week from his one-time boss. Monk's arraignment of federal corruption charges has been moved to April 23 at 11 a.m.