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Blagojevich's Lawyers May Move Office in Wake of Laptop TheftThe defense team for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is considering moving its main offices after computer equipment and a safe disappeared in a Friday break-in, a lawyer on the team said. The lawyers have offered a $3,000 reward for the return of the equipment, no questions asked. Eight laptops, other miscellaneous computer equipment and a small, empty floor safe were reported missing and the offices had been ransacked, police said.
The National Law Journal2009-12-08 12:00:00 AM
The legal defense team for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is considering moving its main offices after computer equipment and a safe disappeared in a Dec. 4 break-in, a lawyer on the team said. The lawyers have offered a $3,000 reward for the return of the equipment, no questions asked.
The Law Offices of Sam Adam in the Woodlawn neighborhood of south Chicago, where Blagojevich attorneys Sam F. Adam and his son Sam E. Adam are based, were burglarized in the early morning hours on Friday, the Chicago police said in a statement.
Eight laptops, other miscellaneous computer equipment and a small, empty floor safe were reported missing and the offices had been ransacked, the police said Friday. A search in conjunction with the investigation over the weekend didn't turn up the property.
The defense team is considering moving to a building with more security and is assessing the potential cost of new equipment, said Sheldon Sorosky, another Blagojevich lawyer. He said there was no security other than a locked door at the three-story building where the two Adam lawyers and a handful of junior lawyers on the team had been working.
"If we don't get these [computers] back, we have to go out and get new equipment, and that's an added expense," Sorosky said.
Some of the 3.5 million pages of documents turned over to the defense team by the government were stored on the computers and can be requested from the government again if necessary, Sorosky said. Most of the information on the computers isn't sensitive material such as grand jury testimony, he said. The firm had also stored much of its data on a separate server that wasn't missing.
Lawyers for Blagojevich are being paid out of the former governor's campaign fund, money that might otherwise be subject to government seizure in connection with his alleged political corruption. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was indicted in April on charges he used the influence of his office to extract campaign contributions and other favors. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
While Sorosky didn't expect the missing computers to require a delay in the trial proceedings, a fourth senior attorney on the defense team, Allan Ackerman, said the break-in might necessitate more preparation time before the June trial.
Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago, declined comment on the reported burglary.