Rod Blagojevich — the ousted Illinois governor who was charged with corruption for, among other things, trying to leverage his power to appoint someone to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat in exchange for campaign cash or a high-paying job — will spend 14 years in prison. Judge James Zagel handed down the sentence today, citing concerns about Blagojevich’s use of his political powers for his own self-interest.
The Associated Press reports:
“When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired,” Zagel said.
As the judge announced the sentence, which includes a $20,000 fine, Blagojevich hunched forward and his face appeared frozen. Minutes later, his wife, Patti Blagojevich, stood up and fell into her husband’s arms. He pulled back to brush tears off her cheek and then rubbed her shoulders.
On his way out of the courthouse, Blagojevich cited author Rudyard Kipling and said it was a time to be strong, to fight through adversity and be strong for his children. He said he and wife were heading home to speak to their daughters, and then left without answering any questions.
Read more at the Washington Post.