Tribune photo by Kuni Takahashi
April 21, 2009
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is surrounded by media as he leaves Dirksen U.S Courthouse following his status hearing in Chicago on April 22, 2009. Blagojevich -- now the poster child for Illinois corruption -- faces 16 felony counts, including wire fraud, racketeering, extortion conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Among the accusations: attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama; seeking the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial writers in return for state help on the sale of Wrigley Field; attempted to extort a congressman for campaign cash by withholding a $2-million state grant to a public school in the congressman's district; and other pay-to-play and influence-peddling accusations. He was impeached in January 2009; his case will finally go to trial in June 2010.
But he's just one of countless Illinois politicians in this state's history to run into trouble with the law ....