SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday he believes former governor Rod Blagojevich should serve his full prison term.
In late 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison after a federal corruption conviction. He was charged with racketeering, wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery and other counts. In wiretapped conversations, he was caught trying to sell former president Barack Obama’s Senate seat, which was vacant after he became president.
Following comments from President Donald Trump suggesting that sentence might be commuted, Pritzker said prison is where Blagojevich belongs.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re a state of laws,” he told WAND-TV at the Illinois State Fair. “When you get convicted and sentenced and sent to prison, you should probably serve that term.”
President Donald Trump recently commented that he believed Blagojevich was treated “unbelievably unfairly”. Lawmakers representing Illinois recently sent a letter to the president asking him to keep the sentence in place, and telling him that the nation needs to “take a strong stand against pay-to-play politics”. That full letter is available here.
The sentence remains in place in mid-August. At that point, Blagojevich had served over seven years of his prison term.
He was impeached from the role of Illinois governor in early 2009. He first became governor in 2002.