Jailed ex-gov. cleans floors, hopes for ap­peal

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - CLASSIFIEDS -

CHICAGO — More than five years into his 14-year sen­tence on cor­rup­tion con­vic­tions, Rod Blago­je­vich, who once held the high­est of­fice in Illi­nois, finds him­self on clean­ing duty at a Colorado fed­eral prison.

“I’ve been given the ju­ris­dic­tion to sweep and mop two floors,” he said in an in­ter­view with WMAQ -TV in Chicago from prison re­leased Mon­day, along with an in­ter­view in Chicago mag­a­zine. “So my ju­ris­dic­tion has shrunk from the fifth big­gest state in Amer­ica, to these two floors. But I don’t care what any­body says, I be­lieve in clean gov­ern­ment, and I be­lieve in clean floors.”

Blago­je­vich still main­tains his in­no­cence and hopes to make an­other ap­peal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 60-year-old re­ported to prison in 2012 af­ter he was con­victed on sev­eral counts, in­clud­ing for try­ing to sell for­mer pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s U.S. Se­nate seat.

The for­mer gov­er­nor is now housed in a lower-se­cu­rity sec­tion of the prison and said he spends time run­ning on the prison track, work­ing out in the weight room and read­ing. His fel­low pris­on­ers gave him a care pack­age when he first ar­rived, he said.

“You walk in there on the first day and your heart’s bro­ken,” he says. “You’re in there and then they close the gates on you, and you’re in prison. And you’re yearn­ing for your chil­dren and your wife and your home, and you’re look­ing at 14 years.”

Blago­je­vich sees his fam­ily on av­er­age three times a year.

“What sus­tains me dur­ing this very dif­fi­cult long hard trial is the love I have for my chil­dren and my wife Patti,” he said.

Blago­je­vich said he is op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

“Even if the world mis­un­der­stands you, crit­i­cizes you and say you’re crazy, take a stand,” he said. “Be­cause you know what the truth is. And when you do it, my ex­pe­ri­ence tells me, trust in God.”

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