Wednesday, September 06, 2006

6 1/2 Years For Former Gov. George Ryan

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan was handed down a 6 1/2 year prison sentence for corruption charges he was earlier found guilty of dating back to his days as the state's Secretary of State. Besides his sentence, Federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ordered Ryan to pay $603,348 in restitution for money the state lost through overpriced leases that Ryan was convicted of steering to political insiders. It's unclear if he will be able to pay any of it. His attorneys claim he is broke.The convictions came after the feds launched an investigation known as Operation Saferoads, which discovered Ryan's office had handed out licenses for bribes. The Sun-Times reports:

A stoic former Gov. George Ryan was sentenced this afternoon to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for years of corruption while he held state office.

Before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer imposed the sentence, Ryan apologized to voters for his actions.

“When they elected me as the governor of this state, they expected better. And I let them down. For that I apologize,” Ryan said. “The result deeply pains me. This is the saddest day of my life.”
* * * *
Ryan, 72, showed no expression when the sentence was handed down. Nor did his wife Lura Lynn, who sat behind him and beside former Gov. Jim Thompson.

Ryan will become the third Illinois governor in my lifetime to do time in prison. His successor, Rod Blagoyevich, is currently under the microscope by Ryan's prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Instead of selling licenses for bribes, Blagojevich is suspected of selling state jobs and appointments to state boards and commissions.

In spite of his conviction, Ryan expressed his gratitude to the law firm of Winston & Strawn, which is said to have performed in excess of $10 million in legal work pro bono on Ryan's behalf. "Ryan thanked Thompson’s law firm, Winston & Strawn, for its work in offering 'a defense that I desperately needed but could not afford,'" the Sun-Times reported.


Anonymous said...

sad story

but who really cares here in Indiana?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I don't know--it gave me an excuse to bring up Winston & Strawn--the law firm that's representing Bosma in that silly prayer lawsuit. Seriously, I'm from Illinois and have followed these developments from the beginning. Many people I worked with in Illinois politics have been ensnared in this long overdue probe.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it

W/S is a good link.

Hell they represent everyone big sooner or later. It's like they used to say about the Atlanta airport: before you die, you go through Atlanta.

Sir Hailstone said...

As a former short-time Illinois resident, GOOD RIDDENS.

Lyin' Ryan was an embarrassment to the Republican party and he pretty much ruined the party's credibility in Illinois for many years to come. All to satisfy his personal greed. Now they have a Chicago Machine socialist in charge and I am never so glad to live back in Indiana.

Dems here give Gov. Daniels grief about not living in the Governor's Residence ... hell Gov. Rod Blagojevich doesn't even live in Springfield. He stays in Chicago and runs the state from there.