December 7th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years for corruption charges

[Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET] Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Blagojevich was also sentenced to pay a $20,000 fine.

The judge said he does not have report to prison for 90 days.

"I do accept his apology in his testimony, and I do believe he may regret the fate of others," Judge James Zagel said.

But that wasn't enough for the judge.

"It comes late," he said, of Blagojevich's accepting responsibility for his actions.

In announcing the sentence Judge James Zagel said Blagojevich's abuse of the governor's office "is more damaging than any other office in the U.S." besides the presidency.

Zagel noted that he did not resign as governor despite the indictments, but if he had it might have helped show he accepted responsibility.

The judge told Blagojevich that he had ruined the careers of a few people who worked for him. Zagel also questioned part of Blagojevich's accepting responsibility.

"Why did the thoughts of his children not weigh heavily on his reckless conduct?" Zagel said.

Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation applauded the sentence.

“The sentence handed down today represents a repayment of the debt that Blagojevich owes to the people of Illinois," he said. "While promising an open and honest administration, in reality, the former governor oversaw a comprehensive assault on the public’s trust."

[Posted at 1:03 p.m. ET] Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich apologized to his state, his family and the judge, saying he is "unbelievably sorry," during his sentencing hearing for corruption convictions Wednesday.

"I've had plenty of time to reflect on all that's happened," Blagojevich said. "I'm here convicted of crimes and I am accepting of it, acknowledge it."

Blagojevich, a Democrat, was accused of trying to profit as he considered whom to appoint to succeed Barack Obama when he vacated his Senate seat to move to the White House.

"There is a line between routine politics, horse trading and campaign politics," Blagojevich said. "I thought they were permissible and I was mistaken."

He was convicted of corruption in June after a jury returned 17 guilty verdicts against him.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 15 to 20 years, but his lawyers have called that excessive and asked the judge for leniency on Tuesday, even as they admitted for the first time that crimes were committed.

soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. Michael Wojo

    The goverment is just makeing itself look worst.Cant run the court or economy.

    December 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jim/dee

    Can someone tell me why he doesn't have to report to jail for 90 days???...When Dr. Murray received his sentence, he was handcuffed in court and taken to jail...(which was the right thing to do)... Why does this idiot get to go home for 90 days???...JUST SAYING......

    December 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • boujac

      so that he can celebrate his last christmas with his family for the next 14 years.

      December 9, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill S.

    I live in Illinois and have had it with our inept, criminal politicians. When people vote blindly for a political party, you get vermin like Blagojevich (a Democrat). Or like his predecessor Ryan (a Republican) who also went to jail for corruption. Voters need to stop voting blindly for a political party and really give some thought as to which candidate will do the best job.

    December 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angee

      amen, as people of the united states we need to stop voting based off a party but the view of how god sees us all. It's not about the color of skin or the party but who is for the protection of our nation! When we all leave this world, we leave naked and turn back into dust. We all should save our souls

      December 8, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Johannes

    He should get 4 years for that hairstyle.

    December 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ***Ground-Floor Opportunity (of a lifetime)***

    IMAGINE KNOWING of 9/11's "War on Terror" years in ADVANCE! Well, the next phony war will be "One World Order vs. Aliens". That "area 51" flying saucer was none other than an Nazi BMW model J-38 saucer, or it's Skoda copy. You heard it here first, just as you heard gay men being charged with statutory raype. 🙂 And don't think that there isn't more. Want to see pics Hitler inspecting a flying saucer?

    December 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mentor Dulaj

    Mentor Dulaj
    all the people around the world have a chance to know serbs, they are mostly like Blagojevich..

    December 8, 2011 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sydney

    From your name and comment I could tell you are an Albanian from Kosovo or have relatives from there. Stop spreading false rumors. Now that you have Al Queda in your "country" I hope you think it was worth kicking out the Serbs from their lands and destroying their churches.

    December 8, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mentor

      you think it is false, but you were not here when / how I did survived.... here from serbs...

      April 13, 2014 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Roman

    Marry Christmas Blago. ANother greedy sc...bag

    December 8, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Online High School Diploma

    Thanks for linking this up..

    December 9, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chad Kevin

    Thank you Judge Zagel, for being the voice of the people of Illinois.

    High School Diploma Online

    December 9, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. sue

    Does ANYONE remember this? WHERE are the 99% to defend this man? He took on the BANKS. He took on the CORPORATIONS that were denying these workers their pensions. He physically stood WITH the workers. Where are you to DEFEND him now? He wanted a JOB, a JOB, just like the rest of us. He does not belong in jail for one second, much less 14 years.

    "Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced Monday that he is asking all Illinois government agencies to suspend business with Bank of America. Blagojevich contended that Bank Of America received a multi-billion dollar bailout from the government and should accordingly restore credit to the Republic Windows & Doors company in Chicago"

    December 9, 2011 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
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