(Photo: Cook County Public Auction Notice)
Betty Loren-Maltese may lose her home, but right now the auction is on hold.
An attorney for former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese persuaded a federal judge today to postpone the auction of her Cicero home until she can challenge her 2002 corruption conviction.
The government was scheduled to auction her one-story brick home Thursday to recoup a portion of the $8.3 million in restitution that she owes.
But Judge John Grady granted a stay of the auction until Loren-Maltese can challenge her conviction based on the so-called "Skilling" defense, said her lawyer, Leonard C. Goodman.
"It’s been hard for her," Goodman said of his high-profile client, who was sentenced to a 97-month prison term in 2003 and was released to a halfway house in February. "She’s been trying to get steady work." Since her release to a halfway house, Loren-Maltese has worked as a restaurant hostess and written a blog.
Her attorneys are seeking to have her conviction thrown out based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s conviction for theft of honest services.
The high court found the honest-services fraud law was unconstitutionally vague and that violations must include acts of bribery or kickbacks.
I certainly don’t want to see anyone lose a home, but Betty was convicted. There’s no reason to say "alleged" here.
There was no minimum price set for the home, according to the notice.