Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Survivor: Dearborn Street

In the most scintillating reality program to hit the air waves since Who Wants to be a US Attorney?, the Ryan jurors voted off one of their own. Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer excused Cynthia McFadden from the jury for what she called "personal reasons." A book deal and Oprah appearance are probably not far behind. The Sun-Times reported earlier this week that a "personality conflict" between McFadden and the others caused her to leave, but Pallmeyer denied it, and called the rumor "hurtful."

Testimony in the case against former governor George Ryan ended on Monday, and closing arguments are set for March 6th. Pallmeyer imposed a gag order on those involved in the case(namely lawyers and defendants, the jurors are sworn to secrecy). In an eventful day on Dearborn Street, the prosecution scored points when former Ryan lawyer Ed McNally admitted that he had not disclosed a potential conflict of interest-that he was negotiating a bankruptcy with Winston & Strawn. The well-connected law firm(which has another former governor on the payroll) is representing Ryan pro bono. McNally had been critical of the government's handling of an earlier Ryan investigation when he testified earlier this month.

Proving that the Ryan trial would make a very good reality tv show(even without Simon Cowell), several former SOS employees testified yesterday that they felt pressured to contribute to Ryan's campaign. I guess you never know when a witness will "sing."

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