A former state official has agreed to pay a record $100,000 fine to settle charges he violated a state ethics law. Barry Maram is accused of going to work for a state contractor a week after he left his job as director of Healthcare and Family Services.
Maram was HFS director from the earliest days of the Blagojevich administration through April 2010.
Maram went on to take a job with the Chicago law firm Shefsky & Forelich (now part of Taft)
Springfield powerbroker William Cellini is back on the political scene, following his release from prison late last year. He was found guilty of participating in an extortion scheme when Rod Blagojevich was governor.
Cellini attended a Sangamon County Republican Foundation event Tuesday night, which featured Bruce Rauner, the party's nominee for governor.
Cellini says he backed State Senator Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary race. But now he's behind Rauner.
"Well I've been a Republican all my life and he's the Republican candidate," Cellini said.
An appellate court in Chicago says transcripts of FBI wiretaps not played at Rod Blagojevich's corruption trials will remain sealed.
The 7th U.S. Court of Appeals is still mulling its decision on the imprisoned former Illinois governor's request to toss his convictions.
Appellate courts typically unseal documents submitted as part of an appeal. But prosecutors later asked that the transcripts submitted to the appeals court not entered into evidence at the trials remain under seal. Blagojevich's attorneys wanted them opened.
The sometimes contentious and surprising audio from the appeal hearing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is now online.
Attorneys spent an hour arguing Blagojevich’s appeal on December 13th. Leonard Goodman told judges that Blagojevich never intended to commit fraud, he thought he was engaging in political horse trading.
That led Judge Frank Easterbrook to repeatedly ask Blagojevich’s attorney about a case called Cheek.
The wife of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has said she hopes her husband will win his freedom and that he could return home to rejoin her and their two school-aged daughters. Patti Blagojevich spoke Friday to reporters after attending a Chicago hearing to hear oral arguments in her husband's appeal of his corruption conviction.
A playbill from "I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois," a show about consummate political insider turned e-cigarette salesman Stuart Levine, who was a key FBI informant in the "Operation Board Games" investigation."
The curtains are closing on the Chicago play "I Wish to Apologize to the People of Illinois" -- a timely production, given that today, Dec. 9, marks five years since Rod Blagojevich's arrest. Two trials later, he was convicted on 18 counts of corruption. At Blagojevich's sentencing hearing, the former governor said he was sorry for his mistakes. But Blagojevich was not the one making apologies in this show. He's not even a character -- just someone who gets mentioned now and again.
December Ninth is a significant day in Illinois' political history: for better, and for worse.
On Dec. 9, 2003 "the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act was signed into law," Illinois Campaign for Political Reform's David Morrison says.
That was Illinois lawmakers' response to the Hired Truck scandal that landed former Gov. George Ryan in prison. It created inspectors general with subpoena power, limited lobbyists' wining and dining of officials, and set conduct standards for state workers.
It's been five years to the day since FBI agents arrived at then Governor Rod Blagojevich's house to arrest him on charges of corruption. Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence, and for most Illinois politicians it's good riddance. Amanda Vinicky reports.
Fresh off the General Assembly's passing a law to overhaul the state's pensions, I had the chance to catch up with House Speaker Michael Madigan:
VINICKY: "It's the five year anniversary of Blagojevich's arrest coming up ... any reaction, any ...
Rod Blagojevich's lawyers laid out a final set of arguments in writing before they step before appellate judges next week to argue that the imprisoned ex-governor deserves a new trial.
The 33-page filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals repeats arguments made before, including that trial Judge James Zagel displayed bias against Blagojevich. The brief was posted late Monday.
The defense and prosecution will get 30 minutes each to deliver oral arguments before a three-judge panel Dec. 13.
Politically connected Illinois businessman William Cellini has been released from federal prison. A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says the Republican insider snagged in the corruption scandal involving former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was released from the federal lockup in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 31.
Former Illinois U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has reported to a North Carolina federal prison to serve a 2 1/2-year prison term for misusing campaign funds. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke declined to offer details, including when Jackson reported to prison. Court documents were never clear about when Jackson must report. In her sentencing order written earlier this year, A federal judge in Washington said only that he would have to surrender no earlier than Nov.1.
Retiring Chicago Alderman Dick Mell says his falling out with son-in-law Rod Blagojevich and the former Illinois governor's imprisonment for corruption continue to weigh heavily on him. Mell spoke with reporters Friday about his nearly 40 years as a City Council member. The 75-year-old says the events surrounding his son-in-law and his wife's death were two painful episodes in his life. He says they ``put a damper'' on what he otherwise regards as a lucky and fulfilling life. Mell says it was difficult to say what he really feels about Blagojevich, but he hopes Blagojevich gets an appeal and that his 14-year sentence could be reduced. Mell aided Blagojevich's rise to governor, but says he now wished he had ``done things differently.''