Monday, June 27, 2011

Former Illinois Democrat Governor.... GUILTY as charged!

    Chicago, Jun 27, 2011.  Former Governor Rod Blagojevich, D-IL, was convicted today of a wide range of corruption charges, including the allegation that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s Senate seat.

    The verdict was a huge defeat for Blagojevich, who had spent over two years professing his innocence on reality TV shows and later on the witness stand.

    He now faces up to 300 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines are sure to reduce his time behind bars.

    The verdict capped a spectacle in which Blagojevich became famous for blurting on a recorded phone call that appointing Obama’s successor to the Senate was "f---ing golden" and that he wouldn’t let it go "for f---ing nothing."

    Blagojevich, who has been free on bond since shortly after his arrest, becomes the second straight Illinois governor convicted of corruption. His predecessor, George Ryan, is now serving 6½ years in federal prison.

    The case exploded into scandal when Blagojevich was awakened by federal agents on Dec. 9, 2008, at his Chicago home and was led away in handcuffs. Federal prosecutors had been investigating his administration for years, and some of his closest cronies had already been convicted.

    "The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said before a bank of television cameras after the arrest.

    The Blagojevitch haircut was inspired by Lego Man
    Blagojevich, who was also accused of shaking down businessmen for campaign contributions, was swiftly impeached and removed from office.

    The verdict provided affirmation to Fitzgerald, one of the nation’s most prominent prosecutors, who had condemned Blagojevich’s dealings as a "political crime spree."

    Fitzgerald pledged to retry the governor after the first jury deadlocked on all but the least serious of 24 charges against him.

    This time, the 12 jurors voted to convict the 54-year-old Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts after deliberating nine days. He also faces up to five additional years in prison for his previous conviction of lying to the FBI.

    Blagojevich was acquitted of soliciting bribes in the alleged shakedown of a road-building executive. The jury deadlocked on two charges of attempted extortion related to that executive and funding for a school.

    Blagojevitch and Obama are both from the corrupt Chicago machine
    Judge James Zagel has barred Blagojevich from traveling outside the area without permission. A hearing for sentencing was set for Aug. 1.

    Federal guidelines and previous sentences meted out to other corrupt Illinois politicians suggest Blagojevich could get around 10 years in prison. 

    But judges have enormous discretion and can factor in a host of variables, including whether a defendant took the stand and lied. Prosecutors have said that Blagojevich did just that.

    After his arrest, Blagojevich called federal prosecutors "cowards and liars" and challenged Fitzgerald to face him in court if he was "man enough."

    The jury was unable to reach a verdict on another charge... whether he wears a toupee. 

    The jury foreman told us "It was a tough call. Sure, it looks like a cheap toupee, but a good toupee would probably look a lot better than that. And considering the amount of money he made from all those bribes... why would he buy a cheap toupee? So its my guess that its probably his own hair."

    GUILTY AS CHARGED:
    Count 1-Wire fraud related to Children's Memorial Hospital...................................GUILTY
    Count 2-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 3-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 4-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 5-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 6-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 7-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 8-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat.....................................................GUILTY
    Count 9-Wire fraud related to the Racing Bill.......................................................GUILTY
    Count 10-Wire fraud related to the Senate Seat...................................................GUILTY
    Count 12-Attempted extortion related to Children's Memorial Hospital....................GUILTY
    Count 13-Bribery related to Children's Memorial Hospital......................................GUILTY
    Count 14-Extortion conspiracy related to Racing Bill............................................GUILTY
    Count 15-Bibery conspiracy related to Racing Bill................................................GUILTY
    Count 18-Extortion conspiracy related to the Senate Seat....................................GUILTY
    Count 19-Attempted extortion related to the Senate Seat.....................................GUILTY
    Count 20-Bribery conspiracy related to the Senate Seat.......................................GUILTY

    NOT GUILTY or NO VERDICT:
    Count 11-Attempted extortion related to School Shakedown..........................NO VERDICT
    Count 16-Attempted Extortion related to Tollway Shakedown.........................NO VERDICT
    Count 17-Bibery related to Tollway Shakedown.............................................NOT GUILTYSource URL: http://afrenchkitchengardenweekend.blogspot.com/2011/06/former-illinois-democrat-governor.html
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