Former Illinois Gov. Blagojevich begins prison sentence

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 3/15/2012

Three months after a judge sentenced Rod Blagojevich to jail on 17 corruption charges, the former governor of Illinois reported to prison on Thursday, March 15. He will serve his time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, CO.

As he left his Chicago home Thursday morning, Blagojevich, 55, told reporters that he had a clear conscience and high hopes for the future.

“Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Blagojevich told reporters in a farewell statement captured on video by CNN.

Among the charges that sent Blagojevich to prison was a scheme involving the “sale” of Barack Obama’s former seat in the U.S. Senate.

According to the charges filed in 2008, Blagojevich also solicited $500,000 in campaign contributions from companies that were vying for construction contracts on the Illinois Tollway system.

Truckers know Blagojevich as the governor who repeatedly vetoed bills that would have ended dangerous split speed limits for trucks and cars in the state.

It wasn’t until after the Illinois General Assembly impeached Blagojevich in 2009 that his replacement, Gov. Pat Quinn, signed the bill into law and enacted uniform speed limits.

A federal judge has said Blagojevich must serve a minimum of 12 years of his 14-year sentence.

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