Burglars hit offices of Blagojevich's legal team

AP News
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Posted: Dec 04, 2009 6:54 PM

Burglars broke into the offices occupied by two members of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's legal defense team overnight and stole eight computers and a safe, police said Friday.

The break-in occurred at the South Side offices of veteran Chicago criminal defense lawyer Sam Adam and his son, Samuel E. Adam, police said. They are two of the three leading members of the team defending Blagojevich on charges that he schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat.

Chief of detectives Steve Peterson told a news conference that detectives don't know whether anything related to Blagojevich's federal fraud case was contained on the computers. But he said they are interviewing the attorneys.

Even if the computers contained sensitive material related to the federal case against Blagojevich, the lawyers had all of its material in backup files on a master server elsewhere in the offices that was untouched by the burglars, according to an individual with knowledge of the legal defense team.

A number of discs with material related to the case were around the office but not taken, said that person who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Police said the burglars broke into the offices overnight and at some point tripped an alarm.

Several attorneys besides the Adamses work out of the offices.

The third key member of Blagojevich's legal defense team, Sheldon Sorosky, works out of his law firm's downtown offices.

Sam Adam is a veteran of 40 years of criminal law practice in Chicago and has handled numerous high-profile cases. His son gained the spotlight last year with shouting, whispering, table-pounding closing arguments at R. Kelly's trial on child pornography charges, which ended with the R&B singer's acquittal.

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Associated Press writer Don Babwin contributed to this story.