Crime, Patrick Fitzgerald, Politics, Rod Blagojevich

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Taken Into Custody By BOA Feds

Rod Blagojevich illinois law above the law.JPG

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich made news with “dangerous” threats about halting all state business with Bank of America until the Republic Windows & Doors fiasco is sorted out.

Today, Blagojevich learned the old rule: “Let he who is not under investigation for ‘staggering’ corruption cast the first stone.” The Chicago Tribune (which is still allowed access to ink and paper) reports:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested by FBI agents on federal corruption charges Tuesday morning….

“The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

Apparently, the government has a lot of the evidence against Blagojevich on tape.

An investigation years in the making, after the jump.

Authorities started investigating Blagojevich soon after he took office:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich became the state’s first Democratic chief executive in more than a quarter of a century after vowing to reform what he labeled the culture of corruption surrounding his predecessor that had fed deep cynicism among Illinoisans.

But little more than a year after replacing George Ryan in office in 2003, Blagojevich found his administration at the early stages of what became a host of state and federal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing involving state hiring, board appointments, contracting and fundraising that battered his tenure.

Additional breaking news about the case is available from the Chicago Tribune.

And here’s the full criminal complaint (PDF).

U.S. v. Blagojevich & Harris [PDF]

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich, chief of staff, arrested [Chicago Tribune]

Timeline of the Blagojevich investigation [Chicago Tribune]

Illinois Threat to Bank of America Is Dangerous, Critics Say [Bloomberg]

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