* Former Blago aide due to plea
Alonzo Monk is set to appear today before U.S. District Judge James Zagel to enter a plea that has been postponed for months while his lawyer and federal prosecutors negotiated the terms.
* Blagojevich cleared for TV show, but with possible provisions
“He has a history of repeatedly commenting on the evidence - usually inaccurately,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar. He said Blagojevich’s comments could taint the jury pool by mentioning evidence or talking about the possible length of the trial.
* Judge fears Blagojevich might talk about case on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’
Judge doesn’t rule on appearance, tells lawyers to address concerns about on-air statements
* Fascination with Blago trumps common sense
* Appeals court overrules judge who cut 25-year sentence to 15
In 1996, a judge reluctantly sent drug dealer Gregory Shelby to prison for nearly 25 years — even though the judge felt the term was unreasonable — because crack-cocaine sentencing rules tied his hands.
Then in 2008, prosecutors went back to the judge to ask for a 2Â½-year cut in Shelby’s sentence because he snitched on drug dealers while in prison, helping in a case against 23 people. Judge Charles Kocoras went beyond the recommendation, slashing Shelby’s sentence to 15 years.
But Monday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge didn’t have discretion to cut the sentence beyond prosecutors’ recommendation.
* Charges dropped against one teen in Fenger beating death
* Jobless recovery no cause for cheer
Rare champagne is bubbling on Wall Street. The Dow Jones hits 10,000. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke says the recession is over. Let the good times roll.
Only, don’t look at the world around us. The real economy — not the casino on Wall Street — is still mired in recession. Some 15 million are jobless, and the layoffs keep coming. Two-thirds of the jobless, the highest proportion since we began keeping records, have been out of work for at least six months. Those who have jobs are forced to work shorter hours — down to an average work week of 33 hours, lowest in 60 years. Incomes are down; health care benefits are getting cut; retirement plans are shattered. One in nine Americans now relies on food stamps.
* Ownership lawsuit stalls CBOE’s switch to stock-based company
* Outsourcing firm readies to hire, expand
London company Xchanging sets up HQ in Chicago
* State’s tech exports growing, but future challenging
* Target, CVS encourage reusing shopping bags by paying back their customers
* A fair approach to red-light cameras
* Not quite a house call, but not far off
* Bears do better rating than Dodgers in blase LA