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Former ‘King of Clout’ William Cellini begins prison sentence

William F. Cellini exits after being sentenced Dirksen Federal Building Chicago Ill. Thursday October 4 2012. He's with his daughter

William F. Cellini exits after being sentenced at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, October 4, 2012. He's with his daughter, Claudia, and wife, Julie. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 22, 2013 2:20PM



Disgraced power broker William Cellini has reported to prison to begin his one-year sentence.

Springfield’s “King of Clout,” 78, turned himself in at the Terre Haute federal correctional complex in Indiana Tuesday afternoon, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Convicted last year of trying to shakedown a Hollywood producer for a campaign contribution to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Cellini was sentenced to a year and a day by Judge James Zagel in October, meaning he’ll likely be out before Thanksgiving if he follows prison rules.

Zagel had recommended Cellini be held at a prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., or in Fort Worth, Texas, because of health concerns, but the so-called “pope” of state politics is currently assigned to complete his sentence at Terre Haute, according to the bureau of prisons.

Under the terms of his sentence, the multimillionaire must pay the costs of his own incarceration.

His surrender comes just days before former Gov. George Ryan is released from federal prison into a halfway house, as first reported in the Sun-Times last week.



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