Judge Orders Nearly $22K Seized From Blagojevich’s Pension

CHICAGO (CBS) — Exactly two weeks before former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is scheduled to report to prison, a federal judge has ordered that nearly $22,000 be seized from Blagojevich’s state pension fund to pay off the fines and penalties that were part of his sentence on corruption charges.

The order by U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, dated Wednesday, leaves Blagojevich with $107,367.86 in the General Assembly Retirement System. He was eligible to start drawing on the pension when he turned 55 last December.

Blagojevich cannot draw his full pension, after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a legal opinion that his conviction disqualified him from a $65,000 annual pension for serving six years as governor and three years as a state representative.

Instead, Blagojevich can only recoup the money he paid into the system from his own pocket, minus the amount Zagel ordered seized from his retirement fund.

Blagojevich is also eligible for a $15,000 annual pension for his six years in Congress, beginning on his 62nd birthday.

The convicted former governor is set to report to a federal prison in Littleton, Colo., near Denver, on March 15. He is facing a 14-year sentence for his convictions on 18 corruption charges, but good behavior and participation in an alcohol rehabilitation program could cut that time to about 11 years.

Blagojevich’s legal ordeal has left his family financially strapped. They have been trying to sell their home in the Ravenswood neighborhood. It’s not yet known if his wife, Patti, and their two children will move to Colorado to be closer to him while he’s behind bars.

–Todd Feurer, CBS Chicago Web Producer

  • Jimmy Bob

    When will the drama end? I am so tired of hearing about this weasel. I will be so relieved when he begins serving his time. Too bad they couldn’t pin anything on his whiney wife.
    Now his kids will get to see things from the bleachers not the box seats. Not to worry though, her daddy and sister will put plenty of $alve of her wounds. Maybe she could do DWTS with Salley, or the apprentice, or a new reality show about the shattered lives of fallen politicians’ families for some chump change.

    • Lyndia

      What terrible thing to say.

  • Suerosenorn

    Its unbelievable how much money these politicans draw for pensions after just a few years work. The average man wouldnt have privey to that. Now alot of companies are doing away with pensions altogether. No wonder the state of Illinois is in the red. When these politicans are stopped from making all these bills giving themselves the silver platter we might see the light of day..

    • sickened

      Why do you think the state is broke? Paying all these clowns lavish pensions!!

  • Chicago's Very Own

    Did you tax payers know that the corrupt building inspectors that are in jail are also going to get their pensions when they get out?? News directly from the horses mouth!!

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