Blagojevich judge lets top lawyer out of 2nd trial -

Blagojevich judge lets top lawyer out of 2nd trial

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By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs

CHICAGO (AP) -- The federal judge presiding over Rod Blagojevich's corruption case has excused the ex-governor's lead attorney from participation in a January retrial.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel told a status hearing Friday that Sam Adam Jr. would technically remain a member of Blagojevich's defense team on the chance he'd have to be called in at some point.

But Zagel let Adam and his father, Sam Adam Sr., effectively withdraw as they requested.

A legal fund Blagojevich drew on to pay a large legal defense team at the first trial is empty. Now that taxpayers must pay his legal bill, he's only allowed to have two attorneys and a paralegal.

Blagojevich's lead attorneys will now be Aaron Goldstein and Sheldon Sorosky, both veterans of the first trial. Lauren Kaeseberg is an attorney, but will be named as Blagojevich's paralegal.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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