Lawyer: Blagojevich would take 5th in casino suit

AP News
Posted: Dec 03, 2009 10:50 PM

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would claim his 5th Amendment right against self incrimination if asked to testify in a civil lawsuit spurred by his federal corruption indictment, his lawyer says.

Attorney Jay Edelson told The Associated Press on Thursday night that the former governor also would assert legislative privilege. That right protects state lawmakers and other officials from being bombarded by suits over legislation.

Four Illinois gambling casinos have filed suit to recover $90 million they were forced to pay Illinois racetracks under measures signed by Blagojevich.

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The federal indictment says Blagojevich conspired to squeeze a racetrack owner for a campaign contribution in exchange for signing one of the measures in 2008.

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