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Ex-Illinois Governor Ryan Convicted on 18 Charges

By April 17, 2006

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Update 1

George Ryan A federal jury in Chicago has convicted former Illinois Governor George Ryan (R, age 72) of 18 corruption-related charges stemming from an FBI investigation into allegations that unqualified truck drivers could secure driver licenses in exchange for a bribe. Ryan faces a maximum penalty of 95 years in prison and $4.5 million in fines for racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud and making false statements.

Ryan was governor from 1999-2003 and secretary of state from 1991-1999. The FBI investigation has resulted in charges against 79 state workers and lobbyists; 75 people have been convicted. No one has been acquitted.

The prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, is also investigating the Valerie Plame case in Washington, DC. The sole indictment in that case to date is Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney.

Media report that Ryan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. However, there is no inherent prestige in being nominated -- anyone can be nominated. The prestige comes from actually being considered -- and that list of persons is not made available by the Nobel committee for 50 years after the nomination.

From The Prosector
"Ryan is charged with betraying the citizens of Illinois for over a decade on state business, both large and small. By giving friends free rein over state employees and state business to make profits-and by steering those profits to his friends and, at times, his family-defendant Ryan sold his office."
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago on 17 December 2003, the date of Ryan's indictment.

In an emotional-laden editorial, the Chicago Tribune recounts the events of election day 1994. Rev. Duane "Scott" Willis and his wife Janet voted for Ryan for Secretary of State before heading in their car to Milwaukee. An accident involving one of those "illicitly" licensed truck drivers "incinerated" six Willis children. Ryan insisted then -- and when running for Governor in 1998 -- that the truck driver had been legally licensed.

Not unlike President Bush and the non-existent Iraqi biological weapons threat -- repeated for a year despite internal documents to the contrary, internal documents in Illinois cast doubt on Ryan's assertions only eight days after the crash:

An internal memo later established that, just eight days after the Willis tragedy, at least four officials in Ryan's office were aware that "there is a strong possibility that this individual obtained his [commercial driver's license] illegally."

Culture of Corruption?
According to Time, three of the last six governors of Illinois have been "onvicted of political misdeeds." Democrat Rod Blagojevich is under investigation regarding a hiring controversy.

Case information: US v Ryan, 02-CR-506, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago)

This article contains information from Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune and NY Times.

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gada.be tags: Corruption, Politics

Comments

June 13, 2007 at 4:21 am
(1) Juanita says:

Ex-Illinois Gov.Ryan (R) has my respect and admiration for the courage and integrity he showed when he commuted all of Illinois’ 167 inmates on death row to life in prison without possibility of parole. His actions were for very good reason. Too many inmates on death row have been proven innocent after serving many long years of their lives on death row. An amount such as 13 out of 25 inmates on Illinois’ death row were recently proven innocent. There is too much detail to include in this comment so I ask to you google the ex governor and read for yourself the reasons why he commuted these sentences. NOTE* Gov.Ryan has always been a supporter of capital punishment (the death penalty) as am I.

June 13, 2007 at 11:17 am
(2) uspolitics says:

Hello, Juanita — I agree with you.

December 11, 2008 at 8:24 am
(3) Peter Asevich says:

At June 28.1999, some maniac was driving his car down the sidewalk and hit me. I survived, but my bones were broken. Illinois criminal government has blocked investigation of crime and did not pay me any victim’s compensation. What’s more, government was terrorizing me and demanding to pay for treatment of my broken bones. So finally I was compelled to leave your savage country.

December 15, 2008 at 2:11 pm
(4) Armando says:

I must have missed the part where it was a member of the Illinois criminal government driving a car registered to the Illinois criminal government that hit you and broke your bones.

That’s the only reason I can fathom why the government should be required to pay your victim’s compensation. Because they were clearly responsible for the accident, right?

As for them not investigating your crime, whatever your crime was, be happy.. most criminals would love for the government not to investigate their crimes.

December 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm
(5) Teeny says:

Armondo. I think the statement, “What’s more, government was terrorizing me and demanding to pay for treatment of my broken bones. So finally I was compelled to leave your savage country”, means he was threatened.

Someone threatened him and made it clear that they despised him and wanted to hurt him, is what I think that statement means.

January 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm
(6) Confused says:

Who’s job is it to watch the Govenor? Because that’s who needs to be in jail. Whoever allowed a Govenor to conjuer up 18 charges against himself for not just 1 term but 2. If he does belong in jail, so do they. Fitzgerald please look at that and go arrest them,too. They knew!!!!!!!!!!!!

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