CHICAGO – The judge at former Gov. George Ryan's racketeering trial said Wednesday that jurors were having trouble with their deliberations, but she declined to elaborate.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer summoned prosecutors and defense attorneys to a meeting in her chambers midmorning and told reporters afterward it concerned "difficulties they are having with their deliberations."
She said the in-chambers hearing had been placed under seal for the time being but she expected to take action on the public record later Wednesday.
While the meeting was in progress, several jurors and court security officers could be seen passing through a back hall between the judge's chambers and the jury room.
It was the seventh day of deliberations in Ryan's five-month-long trial with co-defendant Larry Warner, a businessman and longtime friend.
Ryan, 72, is charged with steering big-money state leases and contracts to Warner and other insiders while he was secretary of state for eight years in the 1990s and later governor. Prosecutors say Ryan was rewarded with free vacations and gifts including $145,000 in loans to his brother's company.
The lawyers in the case are under a gag order.