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
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.