Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years in prison
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.
Before the verdict, Blagojevich admitted to U.S. District Judge James Zagel that he was guilty, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
“I never set out to break the law,” he said. “The jury decided I was guilty, I am accepting of it, I acknowledge it. I have nobody to blame but myself for my stupidity and actions and the things I did and I thought I could do. I’m not blaming anybody.”
Under federal law, Blagojevich will have to serve at least 85 percent, or 12 years, of his sentence.
Blagojevich’s first trial in August 2010 resulted in a guilty verdict on the charge of lying to federal agents, but the jury deadlocked on the 23 other counts in the indictment, including racketeering, bribery, attempted extortion, and wire fraud.
After his TV appearances, including being a contestant on NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 of 20 counts in his second trial. Prosecutors focused on how the former governor was in need of money while facing a $200,000 debt in 2008.
Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to President Obama’s former Senate seat in 2009, and then-Rep. Mark Kirk (R) won a full term in November 2010.