R.Kelly adds attorney known for plea deals

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CHICAGO — This weekend, the premier defense attorney known for his ability to cut a deal with the feds joined singer R. Kelly’s legal team.

Jeff Steinback was one of the many attorneys helping Kelly when he was facing charges 20 years ago.

Steve Greenberg, Kelly’s lead attorney confirmed to WGN News Monday that Steinback is now advising the singer.

“We want to make sure when we are talking to Robert, we’re telling him the risks and telling him what all his options are,” Greenberg said. “It certainly does not mean that he is looking to plead guilty.”

Steinback has represented the likes of Frank Calabrese Jr., the son of a Chicago mob boss, Stuart Levine, a political insider tied to disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich, and Scott Fawell, a former aide to ex-governor George Ryan.

“We’re putting together a team of great lawyers and we’re going to fight,” Greenberg said.

Steinback is known as a master deal cutter for the defendant who doesn’t want to go to trial. The deal he or she cuts with the feds is supposed to result in a lesser sentence.

Arguably Steinback knows the federal sentencing guidelines better than anyone in Chicago.

If Steinback is seen entering the Dirksen Federal Building it usually means only one thing: The defendant is giving up and is preparing to enter a guilty plea.

Greenberg said it is not the case this time.

“I don’t think anyone should read anything into this other than we want to be fully informed,” he said. “We want to know all of the risks Robert faces when he goes to trial.”

Kelly’s legal team is comprised of four different prosecutors’ offices in three different states.

“Robert Kelly has done great things, made great music, done great things,” Greenberg said. “He’s being treated differently than anyone else has ever been treated and he shouldn’t be.”



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