CHICAGO (CBS) — A day after he was sentenced to 14 years in prison, disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich got more bad news when Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a legal opinion that he shouldn’t collect his state pension.
After having served six years as governor and three years as a state representative, Blagojevich had qualified for a $65,000 annual pension when he turns 55 on Saturday.
But the state’s General Assembly Retirement System board moved last month to block the pensions of recently convicted ex-officials. The board will make the final decision about Blagojevich’s pension after reviewing Madigan’s opinion.
The attorney general said that Blagojevich’s convictions stemmed from his service as governor and that he abused his position for personal gain, so he should lose his state pension.
Blagojevich is also eligible for a $15,000 annual pension for his six years in Congress.
Meantime, the governor needs to submit paperwork for his prison request by Friday. His attorneys have told U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel that they would like him to recommend Blagojevich be sent to a prison camp, rather than a more restrictive low-security prison.
Typically, prisoners who are serving sentences of 10 years or more must start their prison term in a low-security facility. Zagel can recommend a prison camp instead, but the decision will be up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.