Legal History

Blago's Law License Is Suspended; Will Impeached Ill. Gov Be 3rd Ex-Leader of State to Be Disbarred?

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In the latest blow to disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the state supreme court today suspended his law license, WGN reports.

The action, taken at the request of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, follows Blagojevich’s historic 2009 impeachment (the first time a governor has been removed from office in this manner in Illinois) and his criminal conviction in a federal political corruption case. He is awaiting sentencing in that case, which included allegations Blagojevich tried to sell the former U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

If the suspension of Blagojevich’s law license today proves to be a prelude to disbarment, he would be the third former state governor to be disbarred in Illinois history, the article notes.

His lawyer tells the Chicago Sun-Times that Blagojevich expected his law license to be suspended and won’t be particularly affected by the loss of his ability to practice since he hasn’t done so in 15 years.

Perhaps more painful is the prospect of potentially losing his $65,000-a-year state pension which Blagojevich, who is almost 55, could soon apply for, reports the Chicago Tribune.

After seeing another convicted former Illinois governor, George Ryan collect more than $600,000, at a rate of $200,000 annually, before his pension was revoked, the General Assembly Retirement System today set up new review requirements. Under the new set-up, Blagojevich, unlike Ryan, won’t automatically collect without further scrutiny, the newspaper says.

Blagojevich has been seeking probation in the political corruption case, an earlier Sun-Times article notes.

Last updated at 6:50 p.m. to include information from Chicago Tribune.

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