The ascent and fall of an Illinois governor
Created by ElliottRamos on Jun 16, 2011
Last updated: 07/12/11 at 01:24 PM
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The jury found Rod Blagojevich guilty on 17 of the 20 counts in his corruption retrial.
Blagojevich was found guilty on all 11 of the counts pertaining to the attempted "sale" of President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat in 2008. The jury returned no verdicts on two counts pertaining to attempted extortion. Blagojevich was found not guilty on one count of solicitation of a bribe pertaining to his tollway plan.
Following six weeks of testimony, the jury of11 women and one man begin deliberations.
Jurors heard the final arguments from the prosecution and defense in the Blagojevich retrial.
Lawyers for Blagojevich rest their case in his retrial, following weeks of testimony from the ousted governor himself.
Blagojevich takes the stand in his retrial after remaining mum in the first trial.
Mayor Emanuel spends less than five minutes on the stand, stating Blagojevich did not ask him directly for a top-job in return for filling the senate seat. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. took a half hour to say he did not tell staffers to offer Blagojevich money in return for the senate seat.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel took the witness stand for three minutes.
"It was the first time a sitting Chicago mayor has testified in a federal criminal case since Richard J. Daley took the stand at the Chicago Seven trial in 1970."
The prosecution rests their case after three weeks of presenting evidence, the last of which focused on Blagojevich holding grant money for a school until Rahm Emanuel's brother held a fundraiser for the then-governor.
The defense is expected to highlight the political deal between Blagojevich and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, putting her in the senate seat and having her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, step out of Blagojevich's legislative authority.
Jury heard opening statements from the prosecution and defense in Blagojevich's corruption retrial.
The retrial begins with jury selection.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel denies Blagojevich's attorney's request to dismiss the trial and sentence him on the single corruption charge.
Rod Blagojevich may be facing retrial in April for criminal charges — but he’s still entitled to court immunity in another case. (Via Sun-Times)
Blagojevich was found guilty of a single criminal count for making false statements to the F.B.I. The jury was hung on the 23 other counts against the former governor. (Photo: Getty Images)
Patti Blagojevich agrees to fill in for her husband on ‘I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!’ The announcement comes after a judge refused to allow Rod to appear on the show.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is facing 16 counts of racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal agents. That's according to an indictment released just moments ago.
Also charged in the indictment is former chief of staff John Harris, a lobbyist and former aide to the governor Lon Monk, the governor's brother Robert, a fundraiser Christopher Kelly and businessman William Cellini. Not charged is the governor's wife Patti who was heard on several of the recordings made by investigators.
Blagojevich's request to have Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald taken off his case is denied.
After being overheard on tapes discussing firing a Chicago Tribune reporter, Patti is served with a federal subpoena.
Christopher Kelly, one-time chief of fundraiser for Blagojevich, pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.
Blagojevich tells Sean Hannity his comment about being compared to Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were taken out of context.
Before the members deliberate the case, Blagojevich sends a request to the president of the state senate to speak to the members.
Blagojevich stops by the Late Show, where Blago suggested the impeachment counts were taken out of context.
Illinois house of representatives voted nearly unanimously to impeach Governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich faces federal corruption charges for selling his power as governor and allegedly trying to sell the senate seat left vacant by President elect Barack Obama. The case heads to the state senate for trial.
The Illinois State Senate begins the impeachment trial against Blagojevich. Blagojevich did not attend, but rather made a series of television appearances on "The View," "Good Morning America," and "Larry King Live."
Following his arrest and allegations that he attempted to leverage his power to appoint a successor to President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat for personal gain, Blagojevich taps Democrat Roland Burris for the job.
Fitzgerald explained the charges against Blagojevich, calling it a "political corruption crime spree."
FBI agents arrested Blagojevich at his home following an early morning run. The Governor was said to have replied "Is this a joke?". He turned 52 the next day.
Blagojevich cruises to re-election over Republican Judy Baar Topinka and Green Party nominee Rich Whitney, but wins only 49% of the vote and garners fewer overall votes than in 2002.
A jury convicts former Illinois Governor George Ryan on corruption charges related to a widespread scheme to trade drivers licenses for campaign contributions. "Today's verdict proves that no one is above the law," says Governor Rod Blagojevich. "And just as important, it proves that government is supposed to exist for the good of the people, not the other way around, and certainly not for the personal enrichment of those who hold public office." October 12, 2006: Rezko indicted Feds indict Blagojevich friend and fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, alleging he routinely steered state contracts to vendors in exchange for millions of dollars in payments. Rezko later becomes the focus of national news and through his controversial connections to presidential candidate Barack Obama. A jury convicted Rezko in 2008. He cooperated with the continuing federal investigation, though did not testify in the Blagojevich trial.
Blagojevich announces an ambitious new early childhood education initiative.‚ Dubbed Preschool for All, the goal is to make Illinois the first state in the nation with universal preschool access.
Blagojevich orders the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to shutdown a landfill owned by Frank Schmidt, distant cousin of Blago's mother-in-law. The highly publicized action sparks a public feud and bitter falling out between Blagojevich and his father-in-law, Chicago Alderman Dick Mell.‚ In the process, Mell publicly alleges that the Blagojevich administration routinely traded political jobs for state contracts and campaign contributions.
Blagojevich successfully passes his ambitious plan to extend state health insurance benefits to more than 230,000 children in Illinois during the Fall Veto Session.‚ The legislation becomes one of his signature accomplishments, despite concerns over the cost of the program and its potential impact on the state finances.
In the midst of a national shortage of flu vaccine, Blagojevich makes international news and stirs controversy by paying $2.6m to a U.K. firm to secure flu vaccine for the state, only to find that the FDA blocks the vaccine from entering the country. Ultimately, he has the vaccine shipped to earthquake victims in Pakistan a year later , but by then it had expired and was destroyed.
Blagojevich and the Illinois Toll Highway Authority announce plans for an "open road" tolling system and upgrade of tollway oases.‚ The plan is boldest remake of the Toll Highway Authority in years, and comes after the previous governor, George Ryan, failed in his efforts to eliminate tolls entirely. Among the beneficiaries of the oasis contracts: friends and fundraisers Tony Rezko and Christopher Kelly. (Photo courtesy of Mark Susina via Flickr)
Citing the excesses of the administration of his predecessor, George Ryan, Blagojevich signs what his administration calls the "toughest, most comprehensive" ethics legislation in Illinois history. In a statement, Blagojevich says "Today, we are reestablishing the primacy of principle over politics, and in Illinois, that is real change. We are renewing the promise of public service. And I hope it's a step in the on-going process of giving people a reason to start believing in their government again".
Blagojevich asked his Lisa Madigan to investigate whether drugmakers are violating antitrust laws with efforts to keep US patients from buying low-cost drugs from Canada.
Criticizing the rising cost of drug prices in the U.S., Blagojevich asks the FDA for permission to import prescription drugs from Canada. Later, Blagojevich teams with U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) to put pressure on the Bush Adminstration to allow consumers to purchase prescription drugs from abroad in an escalation of the issue - and his own national profile.
Blagojevich signed a bill for a $6.6 billion modernization plan for O'Hare International Airport.
Republican National Committeeman Robert Kjellander earns $800,000 fee for his role as a consultant in helping arrange a $10 billion bond deal between Bear Stearns and the State of Illinois. Blagojevich signs off on the deal. Fee raises eyebrows and later becomes an element in the federal government's probe into the Blagojevich administration's pay-to-play schemes. Government alleges some of these monies later wound up in the business account of Patti Blagojevich.
Blagojevich said he would extend the moratoriums on executions, a move initiated by his predecessor, convicted Republican George Ryan.
In a sweeping victory for Democrats statewide, Blagojevich defeats Republican Jim Ryan and Libertarian Cal Skinner with 52% of the vote to become the 40th Governor in Illinois history. Democrats took control of all 3 branches of government, and kicked the Republican Party out of the Governor's Mansion for the first time in 26 years. Channels Elvis and declares "I'm all shook up" during election night victory speech.
Jim Ryan angrily accused Blagojevich of trying to link him to a fatal accident that lead to the deaths of six children in controversial licenses-for-bribes scandal.
Blagojevich debates Republican rival Jim Ryan in first gubernatorial debate.
Illinois Republicans allege the then-candidate Blagojevich neglected to disclose required information on more than 200 major donors.