Archive for the ‘arrested’ Category

Ill. gov. says ready to tell his side of scandal

December 17, 2008

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Wednesday he is ready to tell his side of the scandal to the people of Illinois and that he would do so no later than Thursday.

“I can’t wait to begin to tell my side of the story and to address you guys and, most importantly, the people of Illinois. That’s who I’m dying to talk to,” he said as he left his home Wednesday morning for a jog.

“There’s a time and place for everything. That day will soon be here and you might know more about that today, maybe no later than tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, an impeachment inquiry against Blagojevich hit a speed bump shortly after getting under way, with state lawmakers seeking guidance from federal prosecutors and postponing any real action until the governor’s attorney arrives.

Associated Press

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is  surrounded by the media before ... 
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is surrounded by the media before jogging at his home in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec.17, 2008. Blagojevich said Wednesday he is ready to tell his side of the scandal to the people of Illinois and that he would do so no later than Thursday.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

The attorney, Ed Genson, planned to attend Wednesday’s meeting of a special Illinois House committee reviewing potential impeachment and may provide the first hint of the embattled Democratic governor’s strategy.

The committee’s chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, said Wednesday’s meeting would focus on a review of the criminal case against Blagojevich and no witnesses would be called.

When asked if he would join his lawyer at the Capitol Wednesday, Blagojevich said he was “in good hands” with Genson being there. Asked about when he might talk, the governor was glib: “To quote Elvis, ‘hang loose.’ Now can I get a run in, do you think?”

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_re_us/illinois_governor

Illinois Governor in Corruption Scandal

December 9, 2008

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was arrested and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to profit from appointing a senator to succeed Barack Obama.

By Monica Davey and Jack Healy
The New York Times

Frank Polich/Reuters

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald discussed the charges against Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois at a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday.

Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, called his sole authority to name Mr. Obama’s successor “golden,” and he sought to parlay it into a job as an ambassador or secretary of Health and Human Services, or a high-paying position at a nonprofit or an organization connected to labor unions, prosecutors said.

He also suggested, they said, that in exchange for the Senate appointment, his wife could be placed on corporate boards where she might earn as much as $150,000 a year, and he tried to gain promises of money for his campaign fund.

Amanda Rivkin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois.

If Mr. Blagojevich could not secure a deal to his liking, prosecutors said, he was willing to appoint himself.

“If I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself,” the governor said in recorded conversation, prosecutors said.

A 76-page affidavit from the United States Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois says Mr. Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-GOY-uh-vich) was heard on wiretaps over the last month planning to “sell or trade Illinois’ United States Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama for financial and personal benefits for himself and his wife.”

The charges are part of a five-year investigation into public corruption and allegations of “pay to play” deals in the clubby world of Illinois politics. In addition to the charges related to Mr. Obama’s Senate seat, they include accusations that Mr. Blagojevich worked to gain benefits for himself, his family and his campaign fund in exchange for appointments to state boards and commissions.

The authorities recorded Mr. Blagojevich speaking with advisers, fundraisers, a spokesman and a deputy governor, using listening devices placed in his office, home telephone, and a conference room at the offices of a friend, prosecutors said.

Federal authorities said Mr. Blagojevich’s chief of staff, John Harris, was also named in the complaint. Both men are expected to appear in federal court for the first time later Tuesday.

At a news conference, Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, said that Mr. Blagojevich had gone on a “political corruption crime spree,” and that his actions had “taken us to a truly new low.”

“The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

He added that the complaint “makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.” In one passage of the complaint, Mr. Blagojevich is quoted cursing Mr. Obama in apparent frustration that “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation.”

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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/09/us/pol
itics/10Illinois.html?_r=1&hp