On Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison for18 corruption charges, including the scheme to peddle the vacated Senate seat of Barack Obama. He will have to report for prison on February 16, 2012 to a facility to be named later. In addition, he was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
Blagojevich was a democratic State Representative before being elected to the United States House of Representatives representing parts of Chicago, and he served as the 40th Governor of Illinois from 2003 to 2009.
Blagojevich was arrested on December 9, 2008 on federal corruption charges including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. As a result thereof, he was impeached for corruption and misconduct in office by the Illinois House of Representatives on January 9, 2009 by a 114–1 vote.
With this sentence Blagojevich will join George Ryan, a Republican who was governor from 1999 to 2003, who is serving a prison sentence. Ryan was convicted of corruption in 2006 after a scandal involving the illegal sale of government licenses, contracts and leases by state employees.
Two other former Illinois governors have been sent to prison, and several others have gotten in trouble with the law: Otto Kerner Jr., a Democrat who was governor from 1961 to 1968, was convicted in 1973 on 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury and related charges, and Dan Walker, a Democrat who was governor from 1973 to 1977, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, misapplication of funds and perjury in 1987and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
However, with this 14 years sentence, Blagojevich received one of the stiffest penalties imposed for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics.
By Jana Collins, Office Manager