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 ...
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.
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.''