Helsinki Smash Rod
- Nov 15, 2008
- N38? 43', W90? 22'
- Roger Dean's Rocks
Color me shocked. Corruption in Chicago politics? Never...Reuters said:Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges on Tuesday, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by fellow Democrat President-elect Barack Obama, federal prosecutors said.
While Obama has long distanced himself from the governor -- who has been under investigation on other issues for months -- Blagojevich's arrest was likely to be an embarrassment to the president-elect, who takes office on January 20
The case shines a light once again on old-style corruption in the Chicago political caldron from which Obama emerged.
"The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, said in a statement.
Blagojevich was also accused of threatening to withhold state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of the Chicago Cubs' baseball home, Wrigley Field, in order "to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical" of him.
The 51-year-old Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were charged in a federal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Both were taken into custody at their homes in Chicago.
In Illinois, the governor selects a successor when there is a mid-term vacancy in the U.S. Senate. Obama resigned from the Senate soon after winning the November 4 presidential election.