The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Top 8 Of '08: No. 7 - Chicago On Trial

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 29, 2008 6:00PM

Between now and Wednesday, we're counting down the top 8 stories that captivated us in 2008.

2008_12_29_rezko.jpg Sure, there were countless trials in Chicago this year, but two in particular captured not only our interest, but had the nation watching as well. First was the trial of Tony Rezko who faced a bounty of charges stemming from what was called a "pay-to-play scheme on steroids." Stuart Levine, who was charged along with Rezko, pleaded out, leaving Rezko to face the music by himself. Of course, what drew so much attention to Rezko were his dealings with politicians of all ilk including Gov. Rod Blagojevich and even President-Elect Barack Obama. Not only that, but the prosecution alleged Rezko schemed with Karl Rove to get U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald fired and Dennis Hastert would name the replacement. The entire affair was salacious enough we even tried to cast parts for the eventual TV movie (are you listening, Lifetime?). Rezko was ultimately found guilty on 16 of 24 charges, but his sentencing has been delayed thanks to Gov. Blagojevich's arrest and Rezko's apparent cooperation with the feds.

2008_12_29_rkelly.jpg Then came the child pornography trial of R&B singer, R. Kelly, accused of taping a sexual encounter with an underage girl. It was a strange trial that included:

We even went so far as to compare Kelly to Drew Peterson. In the end, Kelly was acquitted and attorney Ed Genson has moved on to defend Gov. Blagojevich. Kelly eventually released a free single on iTunes to celebrate the Barack Obama's election.

Rezko Photo - AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, R. Kelly Photo from his MySpace page

No. 8 - Chicago, Cultural Epicenter