Story Summary

Ex-governor George Ryan released from prison

Former Governor George Ryan was found guilty in 2005 of racketeering, fraud and other crimes involving kickbacks for state contracts and property leases.

He was released from prison in January, and is serving the rest of his sentence at his home in Kankakee.

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Former Governor George Ryan is now officially a free man.

He was convicted in 2006 of racketeering and fraud, and was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

He was released from prison in Terre Haute, Ind. on January 31, 2013, and has spent the last five months confined at his home in Kankakee. He will still have to complete one year of court supervision.

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal from former Illinois Governor George Ryan on his corruption conviction.

Ryan was found guilty in 2005 of racketeering, fraud and other crimes involving kickbacks for state contracts and property leases.

He was released from prison last month, and is serving the rest of his sentence at his home in Kankakee.

Since his conviction, he has filed several legal challenges.

His latest attempt dealt with the so-called “honest services” issue.

Local News

Ex-gov. Ryan goes home

George Ryan woke up Thursday morning, not in a halfway house, but in his own home.

Reporters met the former Governor as he arrived Wednesday at a Salvation Army facility on the Near West Side; he was expected to complete his corruption sentence there.

Instead, just hours later, the Federal Bureau of Prisons cleared Ryan to return to his home in Kankakee under strict terms of home confinement.

A law enacted while Ryan was in prison allows for home confinement for ex-cons over 55, people with medical issues and people who committed non-violent crimes.

If Ryan abides by the terms of his home confinement, his sentence will be completed in early July, and he’ll be a free man.

Former governor George Ryan was released from federal prison this morning and is now back at his home in Kankakee surrounded by friends and family.

The former governor made his one and only public appearance outside a halfway house in Chicago today. Dressed in a gray coat, maroon tie and accompanied by his only son and long time friend and lawyer Jim Thompson, George Ryan, once a powerhouse Republican in Illinois surfaced at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after just more than 5 years in prison. With his hands in his pockets he said nothing as he entered, then a short time later exited the building.

The fact that George Ryan walked out of prison and more or less into his own home, has more to do with his age of 78 (almost 79), than it does with preferential treatment according to the Bureau of Prisons and Ryan’s

By 10:30 a.m. Ryan was at home in Kankakee. The former one term governor was reunited with his six children and more than a dozen grandchildren.

But a return home for George Ryan likely feels different for him for a lot of reasons. His wife  of 50 years, Lura Lynn is no longer there. By his side every step of his courtroom fight, she died in June of 2011. Ryan had been allowed twice to leave prison to be by the side of his high school sweetheart. His brother Tom also passed away while Ryan was behind bars.

Ryan is  now ordered to home confinement until his sentence is fully served.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons tells WGN prisoners are eligible for home confinement when they have “six months or less than 10 percent of their sentence left.”   And while Ryan could have been required to wear an ankle bracelet, the BOP decided it wasn’t necessary in his case and maintains it is not special treatment.

Ryan was at the halfway house for a few hours at the most. how long a prisoner remains in the crowded facility depends on “financial support, family support, an approved release residence and his health issues,” said BOP spokesperson Chris Burke.

Ryan will not be living alone. His lawyer tells us his 18 year old grandson will be living with him. This home confinement chapter ends on July 4th of this year when he has fully served his time.

Former governor George Ryan is now serving the rest of his prison sentence at his home in Kankakee.

Hi lawyer, former governor Jim Thompson, says he’s with family and “very happy.”

govryanarriveshalfwayhouseHe will not be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

It was a busy day for Ryan. He was released from a federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Indiana around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

He checked into a halfway house on Chicago’s West Side just before 7 a.m. , and was let go less than an hour later.

The Bureau of Prisons told Ryan he would be sent home Tuesday as he was released from the prison in Indiana.

Ex-Ryan chief of staff Scott Fawell discusses the former governor’s release from a half-way house and return home.

Former Governor George Ryan is now at a halfway house after leaving prison, early Wednesday morning.

Ryan spent five years in prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The halfway house is located on Chicago’s near West Side.

Ryan’s downfall began with a truck accident in Milwaukee in 1994.

Reverend Scott Willis and his wife Janet lost six children in the crash.

It came to light that the driver of the other vehicle got his license illegally when Ryan was Secretary of State.

The corruption followed Ryan to the governor’s office.

He was charged in 2003 with racketeering and corruption, and convicted in 2005.

Ryan must serve several months in a halfway house, before he is released and once again a free man.

Scott Fawell, Former Governor Ryan Chief of Staff

Former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese weighs in on the George Ryan release as she spent time in the same half-way house he will stay in.

Former Governor Jim Thompson discusses the details of George Ryan’s release from federal prison and his arrival at the half-way house.