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. ash

    I will believe that is truly sorry when he gets a haircut.
    He is not sorry, he will be sorry after a few years in the Jail.
    I think he will get out in a year after Obama loses the election and pardons him.

    December 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee

      After Obama wins the next election he will pardon him

      December 7, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Buwana

    90 days will give him enough time to buy plenty of "Soap-on-a rope"

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    I bet that wiped the smug grin off his face . . .

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. palintwit

    Speech therapy experts at Sarah Palin University are currently trying to find a way to "de-shriek" Sarah Palin's voice. It seems that most people would rather be locked in a room full of squeaky balloons than have to listen to her.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Another lefty hater. Obama is breeding many.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOBBY

      ya well id like to hear her shriek while giving her oral six.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Memada

      At least she doesn't need a teleprompter to make a speech. Sarah Palin is my kind of woman! Doesn't sit back and let men tell her what to do.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      She just needs notes written on her hand . .

      December 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack from Tennessee

    Shows you can't be a governor and help African-Americans in Illinois b/c they will put your behind in jail for a long time.. This is a Republican hit job

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Bone

      Ya whatever..........

      December 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOBBY

      dude really?

      December 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary H

      What has this got to do with Blago?

      December 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tony

    Really? I just don't think anything that has to do with bribes/politics/etc. is worth 14 years.... He saw himself in a position of power & got greedy ... This happens everyday in politics.... My cousin, owner of construction company, was told he could get a prominent construction job if he would give 50% of his profits to "the man" ... He never got to find out who "the man" was because he grabbed this guy buy the arm & threw him out of his office... but someone probably paid the piper to win the contract. I think 4 years would of easily taught this man a lesson.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PS

    Wasn't he convicted ages ago?! Why does he get some much time before getting his sentence and then 90 days to report himself? If this is not special treatment, what is?

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • morph147

      they typically give time like this between guilty and sentencing. the judge needs time to weigh the different factors to decide the appropriate sentence.

      the 90 days they give to people who are not a huge danger to society to clean up their affairs before they go to jail and are unable to.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. forGOP


    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    Presidential pardon in 300 days. not a bad sentence. see you soon blogovich.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOBBY

      no way, not gonna happen.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee

      Brian is right...

      December 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Karen

    Give me a break.
    Its called Lobbying. Why is that legal for every OTHER politician?
    I'm not a supporter but think this sentence is R-I-D-I-C-L-O-U-S-L-Y steep.
    Jesse Jackson Jr should be investigated/prosecuted next!!!

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Eric W

    If you cant do the time......He got what the guidelines say he COULD get and the prosecutors ASKED for more so everybody crying need to stop crying too steep about a person that would have sold your mother down the river for his political gain.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • T-Bone

      Amen brother!!!!!!! to bad his wife couldn't go with him.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary H

      Thank you! He even used his children to write a boo hoo letter, oh come on, if he cared at all about his family he would have thought first about his actions. PLEASE!

      December 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KC

    An enemy of Obama and he goes to jail. What about Jesse Jackson Jr. whi tried to BUY his seat?
    OOPS! He an an ally of Obama. Move along no story here.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. aNN

    and child rapist get 2 years. Great justice

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Its the Obama machine in action.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nathaniel

    This guy is such a POS. The thumbs-up totally shows you that EVERYTHING this guy has EVER said is B.S. Who would do that? Have you NO shame? No care at all for the office you were granted by the people? Fire ALL politicians. Seriously. How much further must it get out of hand???

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GIll

    14years! who did he murder? is that not a little excessive, after all its a non violent crime. Here in California we have viloent criminals, getting out after 14 mins. Justice system is so screwed up in this country.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • morph147

      gill, he is charged with 17 crimes. if u think a year for each it kinda adds up.

      December 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary H

      Well think about it, why is CA in soo much trouble, too lenient on their choose to live there deal with it!

      December 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
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