Taxpayers May Be Forced To Pay Blagojevich Retrial Legal Fees


Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor facing a retrial on corruption charges, has exhausted the $2.7 million from his campaign treasury that funded his defense. That may force him to rely on federal taxpayers to pay his attorneys — unless he can land more reality television or media gigs, reports the Washington Post. The six-year investigation cost millions and resulted in jurors deadlocking on 23 of 24 counts. “There is widespread resentment at any tax dollars going to his defense,” said Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association, a Chicago watchdog group.

“This state is $12 to $13 billion in the red. But the people of Illinois will collectively hold our noses and pay the bill if we have to, because everyone is entitled to a defense.” It actually would be the people of all 50 states: Funds to pay lawyers for indigent federal defendants are appropriated by Congress. The financial travails of an impeached former governor — who piled up debt and whose family spent about $400,000 on clothes in seven years — might not elicit much sympathy.

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