George Ryan: "Freedom's A Great Thing"
A cheerful, joking George Ryan has spoken outside his home after the former Illinois governor was released from home confinement.
Ryan spoke Wednesday afternoon in Kankakee, saying he felt good, physically and mentally.
Wednesday ended more than five years in federal custody for corruption. In January, he was released from an Indiana prison and moved to confinement at his home.
Ryan says he feels ``wonderful'' and that ``freedom's a great thing.''
Ryan says he's writing a book but didn't elaborate.
The 79-year-old says he's still dealing with dental issues that arose in prison. He added, ``The dental care there was _ like most everything else _ lousy.''
Ryan says he's lost 40 pounds.
A halfway house manager who processed the paperwork releasing George Ryan from home confinement says the former Illinois governor will still be subject to one year's supervision.
Bob Ciulla says the 79-year-old arrived at the Chicago halfway house after 7 a.m. Wednesday. He says Ryan was well organized, so it took just 20 minutes to fill out the necessary forms.
He says Ryan was visibly relieved. Ciulla says he was "clearly happy to have this part of his life behind him.''
Ryan must meet a probation officer periodically, though Ciulla didn't know how often.
The 79-year-old spent more than five years in prison for corruption, and in
January he was moved to home confinement.
Ryan spent months in his Kankakee home, only allowed to leave for events such
as doctor's appointments or to attend church.
He was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison in 2007, but his sentence was reduced
for good behavior.
The Republican was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making
false statements to the FBI in 2006. He was also accused of stopping an
investigation into secretary of state employees accepting bribes for truck