Blagojevich To Make Public Statement Before Going To Prison
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UPDATED 03/08/12 5:16 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Time is ticking away for deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is now spending his final week at his family’s home in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood before he must report for his 14-year prison term.
But as CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, before Blagojevich reports to the prison in Englewood, Colo., he is planning to make a public statement in person.
Blagojevich’s attorneys say he wants to enter prison in a dignified fashion, without any media frenzy he saw during his two trials and sentencing.
In December, U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel handed Blagojevich a stiff 14 year sentence. Jurors convicted him on 18 corruption counts in the summer, including allegations that he tried to sell President Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat.
The last time Blagojevich made a comment of any kind was immediately after his sentencing, when much in character, he pulled a literary quote to make his point.
“Rudyard Kipling, in his poem, ‘If,’ among the things he wrote is, ‘If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors the same,’ ” he said. “For Patti and I, and especially me, this is a time to be strong. This is a time to fight through adversity. This is a time for me to be strong for my children; to be strong for Patti.”
He said his next mission was to go home with his wife and explain to his daughters, Amy, 15, and Annie, 8, what will happen from here.
Blagojevich was ubiquitous in the media in the three years between his arrest and conviction – which featured frequent interviews on national talk shows, a stint as a talk radio host on WLS-890 AM, competition as a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and an appearance in a series of pistachio nut commercials that also featured Snooki.
But since his sentencing, he has not given any public interviews at all. Last month, his wife, Patti, appeared just last week on the Rosie O’Donnell Show, expressing grief about his imminent departure and still insisting he did nothing wrong.
At times sobbing, she said, “He was found guilty of getting advice and having routine conversations.”
The former governor is expected to report to federal prison in Colorado on Thursday, March 15, where he will be assigned the number 40892-424.
It is unclear whether Blagojevich might talk with reporters, or what he will say in his statement.