Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, best known for his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice and attempts to profiteer off of appointing a replacement for President Obama’s vacated Senate seat, has had five of his 18 corruption convictions thrown out. Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence and even with the vacated convictions–which must still go back to retrial–is no where near becoming a free man anytime soon.
An attorney for Blagojevich said he believed his client should pursue further appeals and Blagojevich’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, told a news conference her husband is an innocent man who never intended to break the law.
“He’s optimistic that justice will prevail, eventually,” Patti Blagojevich said, adding that he was disappointed by the decision and hopeful of a reduction in sentence.
Blagojevich, a Democrat, was arrested in December 2008 when he was still governor. He was impeached by the state’s General Assembly in early 2009, becoming the first Illinois governor to be removed from office.
The 18 convictions came in two jury trials. Blagojevich began serving his federal prison sentence in March 2012.
The overturn came on technical points regarding jury instructions, which does not bode well for Blagojevich in the impending retrials, nor future appeals on the other 13 charges.
Much of Blagojevich’s public persona for a long time was borderline clownish, but he was truly done in by recordings of his negotiations to receive payoffs for appointing a replacement for outgoing Senator Obama, catching him famously saying, “I’ve got this thing, and it’s f****** golden. I’m just not giving it up for f****** nothing.”
Following Blagojevich’s impeachment by the Illinois state legislature he is prevented from holding any public office in the state ever again.
If he were to get out of prison, we may not have seen the last of Blago.[Reuters]