Illinois Governor Urges Bush To Commute Predecessor’s Sentence


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who rode into state office pledging to clean up the corruption of his predecessor, is urging President Bush to commute the federal prison sentence of former Gov. George Ryan to time served as an act of compassion, the Chicago Tribune reports. Blagojevich contended Ryan had paid “a significant price” for what he termed “mistakes.” Citing the frail health of Ryan’s wife, Lura Lynn, and the 74-year-old former governor’s health concerns, Blagojevich said a commutation by Bush would be a “fine decision.”

Blagojevich’s administration is the subject of myriad federal investigations of alleged corruption involving state hiring, contracting and fundraising. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Ryan has served little more than a year of his 6 ½-year sentence on federal fraud, racketeering, and related corruption charges after being convicted in 2006. This week, an application to have Ryan’s sentence commuted to time served was filed with U.S. Department of Justice officials. Ryan’s attorney, former Republican Gov. Jim Thompson, quoted the former governor as saying “there is deep shame for me in serving this 78-month sentence.”


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