White-Collar Crime

Impeached Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Gets 14 Years in Federal Corruption Case

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Impeached former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich finally admitted his guilt today at sentencing and apologized, telling U.S. District Judge James Zagel he made “terrible mistakes” and is “unbelievably sorry.”

Zagel, who was asked by federal prosecutors to sentence the former governor to a 15- to 20-year term in the Chicago political corruption case, said he took the admission into account in giving him a bit less time. The judge gave Blagojevich 14 years, WBBM reported in a local radio broadcast a little after noon today.

However, Zagel spoke of the seriousness of using the office of state governor for personal gain and how it destroyed the public’s confidence and trust in government.

Until today, Blagojevich publicly insisted he did nothing wrong and blamed federal prosecutors for unfairly targeting him in a political corruption case based on his actions while still in office. But this morning Blagojevich accepted the jury’s verdict, and took responsibility for his crimes, according to the Sun-Times.

“I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions and the things I did and I thought I could do. I’m not blaming anybody,” the ex-governor said, as he pleaded for mercy.

However, he also told the judge he hadn’t realized at the time he was committing crimes.

The Associated Press and USA Today also have stories about the sentencing hearing.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Blagojevich Found Guilty of 17 Corruption Counts”

ABAJournal.com: “Did Blagojevich’s Testimony Hurt His Case? One Juror Saw Him as Manipulative”

ABAJournal.com: “Blago’s Law License Is Suspended; Will Impeached Ill. Gov Be 3rd Ex-Leader of State to Be Disbarred?”

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutors Seek 15-to-20-Year Sentence for Blagojevich”

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