Blagojevich hopes to enter prison with 'dignity'
The normally media-loving Rod Blagojevich hopes to enter the gates of whatever prison he'll report to next month -- most likely one in Colorado -- without running a gauntlet of reporters, the former Illinois governor's lawyer said Wednesday.
Blagojevich, 55, asked last year if he could begin serving his 14-year sentence for corruption near Denver, and a judge made that recommendation.
But U.S. prison officials have the final say and haven't confirmed that's where he will go.
Defense attorney Carolyn Gurland said she is disappointed that people are focusing on Blagojevich's destination because Blagojevich's defense attorneys have worked tirelessly to keep the former governor's future destination under wraps.
"The entire defense team has been very cautious to not release where his destination was," she said Wednesday morning. "I'm disappointed that people are talking about it, and disappointed that it's a topic of conversation. This is a private family issue."
A camera-shy Blagojevich slipping into prison would be a sharp departure from the man who gladly ran to the limelight as governor, and then went on a media blitz in the months after his 2008 arrest.
"It's his desire to have dignity surrounding the process," Gurland said. "He wants to surrender without cameras in his face."
The Federal Correctional Institution Englewood -- the 75-year-old prison Blagojevich prefers -- houses around 700 inmates within 40 acres, the facility's orientation guide says. It is encircled by a high, double-security fence.
Once feted as Illinois' highest ranking state executive, Blagojevich will have a strictly regimented life, no matter the prison. That includes waking at dawn, working a menial eight-hour-a-day job and submitting to constant head counts.
Gurland said she didn't think Blagojevich's wife, Patti, and their two school-aged children would move from Chicago to be closer to the former governor -- wherever he ends up.
• Daily Herald staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this report.