Illinois Scandal

by The Palimpsest Staff on December 9, 2008

Illinois Governor in Corruption Scandal By MONICA DAVEY

CHICAGO — The governor of Illinois brazenly put up for sale his appointment of Barack Obama’s successor in the United States Senate, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

In recorded conversations with advisers, the governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, seemed alternately boastful, flip and spiteful about the Senate choice, which he crassly likened at one point to that of a sports agent shopping around a free agent for the steepest price, a federal affidavit showed. At times, he even weighed aloud appointing himself to the job, the prosecutors said.

“I’ve got this thing,” Mr. Blagojevich said on one recording, according to the affidavit, “and it’s [expletive] golden. And I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing. I’m not going to do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

Mr. Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-GOY-uh-vich), a Democrat, was arrested at his home at dawn Tuesday on charges of conspiracy and soliciting bribes. A lawyer for the governor said he denied any wrongdoing.

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