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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Corruption | Will Elected Officials Across Aurora, Chicago, Springfield and Illinois Change?



After Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich apologized to people of Illinois and accepted responsibility for his mistakes, Judge Zagel gave him a sentence for 14 years for his convictions on corruption.

Will this change the conduct of elected officials from Aurora to Chicago to Springfield?


Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
“Blagojevich betrayed the trust and faith that Illinois voters placed in him, feeding great public frustration, cynicism and disengagement among citizens. People have the right to expect that their elected leaders will honor the oath they swear to, and this sentence shows that the justice system will stand up to protect their expectations."
Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
“The sentence handed down today represents a repayment of the debt that Blagojevich owes to the people of Illinois. While promising an open and honest administration, in reality, the former governor oversaw a comprehensive assault on the public’s trust."
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois
“Judge Zagel's sentence is a clear warning to all elected officials that public corruption of any form will not be tolerated.”
Lt. Governor Sheila Simon
"We cannot rely on a prison sentence to deter corruption. Illinois needs stronger ethics laws to kill pay-to-play politics. It's time we expose conflicts of interest before they cost taxpayers, and clear the way for true public servants to rebuild trust with the public. Increased transparency, coupled with the threat of serious prison time, can end these shameful courtroom battles. Together we can put this chapter behind us, restore integrity to government and live up to our legacy as the Land of Lincoln.”
Attorney General Lisa Madigan
"Based on his convictions - for numerous crimes he was caught on tape committing during just one six-week period -  Blagojevich deserves a lengthy prison sentence. Unfortunately, though, it cannot fix the damage he inflicted on our state over his six years as governor. Blagojevich became governor by promising ethical reform, but from the start, he relentlessly used his position to pursue illegal and morally bankrupt schemes motivated by power and greed. His conduct was disgraceful, and the cost to the state has been devastating. Blagojevich refused to govern responsibly and, instead, put Illinois up for sale. He tarnished the state’s reputation nationally and internationally, and he destroyed the public’s trust in government. May today’s sentence put an end to corruption in the Illinois’ governor’s office."
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
"I take no joy in seeing any father taken from his children and family for an extended period of time. And yet there is no question in my mind that it is the right decision given the extraordinary damage Blagojevich caused our state, and the importance of sending a clear and unmistakable message that corruption will not be tolerated in our government."
Congressman Adam Kinzinger
"Rod Blagojevich has never understood the fundamental difference between serving the public and serving his own personal interests; Ultimately, the people of Illinois have suffered the consequences.  Although Blagojevich's punishment will not restore statewide, much less nationwide certainty in Illinois, some justice has been served to our State today.  We must now move past this humiliating time in history and turn our focus toward working together to rebuild Illinois."
Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady
"Today's sentence ends the Rod Blagojevich saga, but unfortunately his enablers continue to burden the people of Illinois with financial mismanagement and higher taxes that have caused the downward spiral of the Illinois economy, and also widespread distrust of our public officials."
David Morrison, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
"He put a price tag on state jobs, state actions and state contracts. He had to get paid before anything could happen. The damage he did was more severe than anything George Ryan did."
State Representative Jack D. Franks (D-Woodstock)
“Today, justice has been done. The deliberate acts of bribery, extortion and fraud that ultimately led to this day warrant a punishment tantamount to the serious nature of Blagojevich’s crimes. Let this day be a firm warning to those in public service – we will not rest until integrity and accountability serve as the rule, not the exception, in state government.
“With this verdict we all must reaffirm our commitment to ridding Illinois of leaders that allow personal ambition to trump the public good. I remain devoted to eliminating pay-to-play politics and a culture of corruption that has permeated Illinois politics.
“The Blagojevich saga has come to end, but the challenges our state faces remain. We owe the people of Illinois a government that pays its bills and one that cultivates entrepreneurial spirit and nurtures economic growth. We owe the people of Illinois an honest government that works for their interests.”
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford
“Rod Blagojevich brought the 14 year sentence on himself.  He deceived the people of Illinois far too long for what the jury substantiated as his own personal gain.  Today’s sentencing is proof that such corrupt, embarrassing behavior will no longer be tolerated in Illinois.” 

Rod's 15 year old daugther, Amy Blagojevich, letter to Judge Zagel:


“For the past three years, my world has been spinning out of control. But what has made it [bearable] has been that my father is home almost all of the time.”
“He’s been here to teach me life lessons.
“I will not be able to handle my father not being around. It’s too drastic a change. I need him here. I need him here for my high school graduation. I need him here if I do not get into college. I’ve wanted to go to Northwestern since I was in the 6th grade.
“I’ll need him when my heart gets broken,” she continued. “I’ll need him here for my dog Skittles.
“I need my father in my life.”

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Illinois politicians weakened FOIA laws since 2010, so no, it's not going to change, but get worse.

Blago is a fraction of the problem.

Anonymous said...

If this sentence is appropriate, it means others who have yet to be prosecuted, convicted like Daley, Weisner, etc should get 30-50 years.

Anonymous said...

Corruption is alive and well in Aurora.

How else do you think Cordogan and Wegman get their contracts?

Anonymous said...

Bets on Campos being next?

Anonymous said...

Well Leroy Keith left before they could nail him. He was very pay for play with several developers. And the city dodged a bullet avoiding Lofchie.

Anonymous said...

How about JJ JR? Why is he not in court yet?

Anonymous said...

The same day Blago got 14 years, a Cook County Court gave a 7 year sentence was given to a 20 year old for killing someone when driving while high on pot and texting. Who can figure.

Anonymous said...

Is there a connection between Corogan & Clark and Mayor Weisner?

Is that why we never get any competition in bidding?

Anonymous said...

When Weisner realized that the library had the money to build a new library, he began to fill the board with his friends. I wonder if that had anything to do with who got the design contract? It will be interesting to watch who gets the construction job.

Anonymous said...

Does the daughter understand that her Daddy was trying to shake down a Children's Hospital? Does the daughter understand that her Daddy was trying to sell a US Seante to bolster his next political campaign?