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CHICAGO (CBS) – For the first time since revealing that they are trying to sell their home, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, have publicly listed their Ravenswood home for sale at $1.07 million.
Blagojevich’s defense attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, revealed in July that the former governor and his wife were trying to sell their 5-bedroom, 3,817-square-foot home, but at the time, it was being sold under a private listing.
“It’s not just a house we’re selling – it’s our home,” a stoic Patti Blagojevich told reporters Monday evening outside the residence. “We’ve lived here since 1999. It’s the only home our children have ever known.”
“It’s a hard decision,” she added. “We tried for a long time now to hold on and not have to sell. But we are, unfortunately, like many Americans, and we can’t afford to stay in our house any longer.”
According to the current listing, the home is quote “built like a fortress” and sports five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a basement with a gym, three fireplaces and a music room. And at 3,817 square feet, it’s also one of the largest homes in the neighborhood.
Many living in the area aren’t surprised the former governor’s home is up for sale, especially given his conviction earlier this year.
“Seems like it’s taken a long time,” Ravenswood resident Rose Divita said. “I’m not sure what the status is, like when he’s going to be sentenced and all that stuff.”
Even though the listing of the home was expected by many because of widespread speculation and courtroom disclosures about the Blagojevich’s financial problems, neighbors said they feel bad for the family now that it’s a reality.
“It’s sad because he’s got children and there’s other people involved. It’s not just about him,” Divita said.
The former governor has put up the Ravenswood home — as well as a condo in Washington, D.C. — as collateral for the $450,000 bond in his corruption case. That means he could lose both homes if he tries to flee or otherwise violates the terms of his bond as he awaits sentencing on 18 corruption charges.
At his retrial earlier this year, Blagojevich was convicted of 17 corruption counts, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama in 2008. At his first trial last year, jurors convicted him of a lone count of lying to the FBI, but were deadlocked on all other charges, prompting the retrial this spring.
Blagojevich’s sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it has been delayed indefinitely, while the judge hears the last trial stemming from the investigation of the Blagojevich administration. Springfield businessman William Cellini, 76, is on trial for allegedly conspiring to squeeze a Hollywood movie producer for $1.5 million in campaign cash for Blagojevich. Cellini has pleaded innocent.