Illinois Supreme Court officially disbars Blagojevich

  • Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves to his supporters in February outside his Chicago home one day after President Donald Trump commuted his federal prison sentence. Blagojevich served eight years before his release.

      Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves to his supporters in February outside his Chicago home one day after President Donald Trump commuted his federal prison sentence. Blagojevich served eight years before his release. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, February 2020

 
 
Updated 5/18/2020 4:47 PM

The Illinois Supreme Court on Monday officially disbarred disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, citing "numerous criminal acts" he committed during his time as the state's chief executive.

Blagojevich had been on interim suspension since October 2011, following his conviction for wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In February, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission counsel Christopher Heredia argued that Blagojevich's "moral turpitude" contradicted "honor, justice and good morals" and justified his disbarment.

During that hearing, Heredia outlined Blagojevich's crimes, which included: an attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when Obama became president; trying to extort the CEO of Edward Hospital in Naperville; attempting to shake down the CEO of Children's Memorial Hospital in exchange for increased state funding for pediatric care; and trying to bribe the owner of the former Maywood and Balmoral horse racing tracks in exchange for signing a bill that benefitted horse racing at the expense of casinos.

Blagojevich did not attend the February hearing, but his attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, said the former governor believed he was obtaining campaign contributions so that he could continue to serve Illinois residents.

The hearing occurred about a week after President Donald Trump commuted Blagojevich's prison sentence, freeing him from federal custody with about four years left to serve on his 14-year term.

Media columnist Robert Feder reported recently that Blagojevich will host "The Lightning Rod," a weekly podcast for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS 890-AM.

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