Former Illinois Gov. Ryan sentenced to prison

| 11/7/2007

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan will surrender and report to prison to serve a six and one-half year sentence connected to his conviction of 18 counts of racketeering, corruption, fraud and other charges related to kickbacks for state contracts, according to a Reuters report.

Ryan – a onetime nominee for the Nobel Prize who helped engineer thousands of false CDL sales in a bribery scheme that later revealed broad corruption in the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office – recently learned that his bid to stay free on bond while his convictions were appealed was rejected by a Supreme Court justice.

“He said OK…He said he was prepared to surrender,” said Jim Thompson, Ryan’s lawyer and himself a former Illinois governor, according to Reuters.

Ryan must report to federal prison in Oxford, WI, by sunset on Wednesday, Nov. 7, to begin serving his sentence at the minimum security prison.

Ryan was among 76 persons convicted in connection to the CDL scam that enabled many unqualified truckers to obtain the licenses, much of which occurred during his years as Illinois Secretary of State. Investigators later found widespread bribery and other corruption stemming from Ryan’s political offices.

Ryan became famous for commuting 160 sentences of death row inmates before leaving office in 2003, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his anti-death penalty stance.