Aide to former Illinois governor found guilty in scandal

| Monday, March 24, 2003

Scott Falwell, an aide to former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, has been found guilty on nine counts of corruption in federal court, stemming from a five-year investigation into Ryan's election campaign efforts that included the sale of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) to unqualified people in exchange for election funds, according to media reports.

To date, 59 former state employees and others have been charged in the corruption scandal, and 53 have been convicted, according to wire reports. Falwell, Ryan's former chief of staff when he was secretary of state for Illinois, is the highest-ranking aide to be convicted so far.

Ryan has not been indicted in the probe. The charges against Falwell and the Citizens for Ryan campaign committee include racketeering, conspiracy and using state employees working on state time to operate Ryan's election campaigns for almost 10 years. Federal prosecutors also said CDLs were issued to unqualified drivers in exchange for cash bribes given to Ryan’s campaign fund. Ryan has continuously denied any knowledge of the bribes-for-license scheme.

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