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Blagojevich found guilty of corruption, lawyers seek appeal

Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence for official corruption during his tenure as the governor of Illinois

His lawyers filed an appeal just one hour before a midnight deadline set by the appellate court.

The 91-page appeal claims Judge James Zagel made rulings on evidence that favored the prosecution during the trial.

 

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Lawyers for convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich filed a long-awaited appeal of his conviction late Monday night, an hour before a midnight deadline set by the appellate court.

The 91-page appeal claims Judge James Zagel made rulings on evidence that favored the prosecution during the trial.

PDF: READ THE BLAGOJEVICH APPEAL

It also says Zagel’s instructions to the jury improperly explained how bribery and fraud laws relate to political dealings.

Blagojevich was sentenced to 14-years.

Federal prosecutors have until August 14 to file a response.

One year to the day after former Gov. Rod Blagojevich reported to prison, his wife, Patti, marked the occasion with a Facebook post, noting how fast the year has gone by but how many ordinary moments her husband has missed.

blago

The five-paragraph letter, addressed to “Dear Facebook friends,” carefully avoided using the word “prison.” Instead, she simply wrote that a year ago Friday “Rod left for Denver” — a reference to the low-security prison near the Colorado capital where he is serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.

Patti Blagojevich said she also couldn’t bring herself to refer to the occasion as an anniversary, saying that “the word anniversary implies celebration and all that we have been left with is a aching hole in our lives.”

Blagojevich said the year has “flown by so quickly” for her and daughters Amy and Annie, but she lamented all that her husband has missed: “Amy passing her driving test, the musical recitals and even just the ordinary moments at breakfast time before the girls leave for school.”

“Unfortunately, those moments have been stolen from my children and there is no getting them back,” she wrote.

Blagojevich said the family speaks with the former governor every day — though calls are limited by federal prison rules to five hours over a month — and has visited him many times at the Littleton prison.

She revealed that her husband teaches a class on the Civil War to other inmates, is learning to play guitar and jogs a lot.

The family continues to pin its hopes on winning the appeal of his conviction.

“Unfortunately, it is very time consuming. We won’t have answers for at least six more months. But we are very hopeful and truly believe that good things are worth waiting for.”

— Tribune staff

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Exactly one year ago today, Rod Blagojevich began a 14-year prison sentence for official corruption; but the former governor is still counting on his lawyers to get his conviction overturned. BlagojevichTalks

A jury said Blagojevich tried to sell a U.S. Senate appointment for personal gain; he maintains he wanted the State of Illinois to benefit from anything he received in return for the appointment.

Blagojevich makes daily phone calls to his wife and daughters, and they visit him about once every two months.

Patti Blagojevich is suing a radio station that poked fun at her husband.

Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence for official corruption during his tenure as governor.

Back when station I-101 was news 101.1, the station ran billboards with Blagojevich’s likeness and the caption: “He never listens to FM News 101.1.”

Now, Patti Blagojevich wants $30,000 in damages.

The ads were a public relations flop, and the station dropped its news format.

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