09 December 2008

Blagojevich's Words Strike Back

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested this morning at his Chicago home by Federal authorities in connection with an alleged scheme to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. Law enforcement took Governor Blagojevich into custody just after 6 a.m. after a telephone call awakening the second successive sitting Illinois governor to be arrested on conspiracy charges. In an afternoon media conference, federal authorities stated that they took the governor away in handcuffs without waking his children, but that his wife, the daughter of Chicago alderman Richard Mell, was aware of the arrest. The governor's top aide, John Harris was also arrested in connection with the allegations that Blagojevich wanted to benefit from his ability to appoint the next Senator. The 76-page brief released showed that the two men engaged in conversations which led to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and solicitation of bribery.
The media release from the office of the U.S. Attorney - Northern District of Illinois outlines most of the charges: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/pr/chicago/2008/pr1209_01.pdf

This afternoon, Blagojevich appeared before U.S. District Judge Nan Nolan who released the Illinois governor on 45-hundred dollars cash bond.

The Governor's office issued a statement saying the "allegations do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the state."

Governor Blagojevich predecessor, George Ryan, is serving a six-year ;prison sentence after being convicted on federal charges of racketeering and fraud.

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