Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media at the Federal Courthouse Monday in Chicago. Blagojevich has been convicted of 17 of the 20 charges against him, including all 11 charges related to his attempt to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. At right is his wife Patti. (Photo: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been found guilty on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat that became vacant when President Obama won his 2008 White House bid. The jury found Blagojevich not guilty on one count, but were deadlocked on the remaining two.
Before the first verdict was even read, the Los Angeles Times reports, Blagojevich’s wife Patti started crying, and repeatedly shook her head “no” as the jurors left the courtroom. He is the fourth Illinois governor to be convicted of crimes. Blagojevich also has the added distinction of being impeached while in office and is the second consecutive governor to be convicted of corruption, following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessor George Ryan (R), who is serving a six-and-a-half-year prison term.
The 54-year-old Democrat, spoke briefly with reporters as he left the courthouse. "Well, among the many lessons I've learned from this whole experience is to try to speak a little bit less, so I'm going to keep my remarks kind of short," he said, adding that he and his wife wanted "to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out." His two daughters are 8 and 14.
When sentenced later this year, Blagojevich could get a term of 10 to 15 years, writes the Associated Press. Blagojevich faces up to five additional years in prison for a previous conviction of lying to the FBI.