Burris Didn’t Lie, Prosecutor Says

Published June 24, 2009

Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat, might have been less than forthcoming when answering questions about conversations he had with representatives of the now-dethroned governor, but he didn’t lie, the Illinois state prosecutor has ruled.   Thus, Burris, who was under investigation to determine whether he was involved in a pay-to-play scheme to win Blagojevich’s nomination for the seat, will not face perjury charges.

Burris was appointed to the Senate seat in January, just days before Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office. Burris said he is "very pleased" by the decision reached by John Schmidt, the state's attorney in Sangamon County, adding that he could "now put this matter behind me. …His investigation was both thorough and fair, and I am glad that the truth has prevailed."

Schmidt launched his perjury investigation in February after discovering that Burris spoke with Blagojevich's brother about possibly raising money for the governor.

"It is clear from the conversation that Robert Blagojevich's call was to raise money for Governor Blagojevich and not to discuss the vacant Senate seat," Schmidt said in a letter sent Friday to the speaker of the Illinois House.

Written by BET.com Staff

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