Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich guilty on corruption ch -

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich guilty on corruption charges

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By Lakisha Jackson By Lakisha Jackson

    CHICAGO (AP) -- A jury has convicted Rod Blagojevich of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat and other corruption charges.
   Jurors delivered their verdicts Monday after deliberating nine days.
"Patti and I obviously are very disappointed in the outcome. I frankly am stunned. There's not much left to say other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out," Blagojevich said to reporters after the verdicts.
   Blagojevich had faced 20 charges, including that he sought to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat and schemed to shake down executives for campaign donations.
   Blagojevich testified for seven days, denying wrongdoing. Prosecutors said he lied and the proof was on FBI wiretaps. Those included a widely parodied clip in which Blagojevich calls the Senate opportunity "f------ golden."
   Jurors in his first trial deadlocked on all but one charge, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors opted to try him again.
   Blagojevich already faces up to five years for the lying conviction.
   "It's certainly a sad commentary on the state and people throughout the country look at Illinois and the fact that four recent governors have been convicted on charges, it doesn't reflect well on the state or its governance. There are some systemic problems in the state that need to be addressed," said Joel Levin, a former federal prosecutor who helped convict former Illinois Gov. George Ryan of corruption.

   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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