Skip to main content

Details of prosecution case against Blagojevich revealed

By the CNN Wire Staff
The former governor was arrested in December 2009, the month before his impeachment, on corruption charges.
The former governor was arrested in December 2009, the month before his impeachment, on corruption charges.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Court document reveals details of allegations against former Illinois governor
  • Prosecutors cite near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after 2002 election
  • Other accusations: Unearned commissions and unnecessary retainer fees diverted to his wife
  • "It's the same old false allegations and lies," Blagojevich says
RELATED TOPICS

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his inner circle engaged in a near-constant conspiracy of extortion and kickbacks after his 2002 election, according to a court document released Wednesday that reveals details of the allegations against him.

The accusations also include tens of thousands of dollars in unearned commissions and unnecessary retainer fees diverted to Blagojevich's wife after he and his co-conspirators learned they were being investigated.

Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, resigned in January 2009 amid accusations that he had attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied by newly elected President Barack Obama. The former governor was arrested the month before his impeachment on federal corruption charges that included wire fraud, mail fraud and solicitation of bribery.

The ousted governor is quoted telling his former chief of staff, John Harris, that he wanted "a good gig" in exchange for an appointment to Obama's seat, either in Washington or with a lucrative private foundation. In a statement issued after the 91-page prosecution document was released, Blagojevich said there was "nothing new" in the paperwork.

"It's the same old false allegations and lies," he said. "I'm looking forward to trial so the truth comes out and everyone will see that I am innocent."

U.S. District Judge James Zagel ordered the document released without redactions over the objections of Blagojevich's lawyers. Several news organizations had requested the document's release.

The accusations against Blagojevich include offering to divert state contracts to individuals and firms that made campaign contributions and appointing contributors or their associates to key state positions.

Fundraisers "understood that Blagojevich viewed those appointments as an opportunity to reward big fundraisers or Blagojevich's supporters," prosecutors wrote. "Blagojevich consistently wanted to know who recommended a particular candidate for a board or commission slot."

 
Quick Job Search