Tony Rezko released from federal prison

An ABC 7 Eyewitness News Exclusive

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Tony Rezko released from federal prison
Tony Rezko was released from federal prison to a halfway house in Chicago on Tuesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Antoin "Tony" Rezko was convicted on June 4th, 2008 and that day was taken into federal custody to begin serving what would later become a ten and a half year sentence.

Tuesday afternoon, seven years and one month later, he was transferred from federal prison to a halfway house in Chicago.

The 60-year-old convicted political fixer was grayer along the sides but appeared fit and in good spirits as he arrived on the West Side.

After serving as former governor Rod Blagovich's chief fundraiser, Rezko was found guilty in 2008 of 16 federal corruption counts. He spent the first four years of his sentence in the downtown federal lockup and various county jails, and the last three in a medium security federal prison in downstate Pekin.

In an exclusive 2012 telephone interview from Pekin, he admitted pay to play politics with and for Blagojevich. Blagojevich was convicted three years after Rezko.

"Did I do fundraising for board appointments? Yes I did. Did I participate in that? Sure I did. Was he aware of it? Yes, he was," Rezko said in 2012.

But during that same interview, Rezko denied he was guilty of the fraud, money laundering and bribery charges for which he was found guilty.

His attorney tells ABC 7 that Rezko had been a "model prisoner," deserving of transfer to the halfway house.

The Bureau of Prisons website does not say how long Rezko will stay in the halfway house, nor whether he will be moved from the halfway house to home confinement at some point in the future. His official release date is May 5, 2016.