By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — On the sixth anniversary of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest, former Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich told her Facebook friends that she is “feeling frustrated” over her husband’s conviction and subsequent incarceration.
She noted that six years equals half the life of their youngest daughter, Annie. It was six years ago today that federal agents arrived at the Blagojevich home in the early morning hours and took him into federal custody.
At the time, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald famously said the governor’s actions forced his office to arrest him quickly. “Gov. Blagojevich has been arrested in the middle of what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree,” he said. Fitzgerald said Blagojevich’s “conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”
Since then, the Blagojevichs’ oldest daughter Amy graduated from Loyola Academy this past spring, about two years after her father reported to prison to serve a 14-year term after his conviction on corruption charges, which included conspiring to sell President Obama’s old Senate seat to the highest bidder.
After Obama was elected president, it was left to Blagojevich to appoint a successor, a political plum that the ex-governor famously referred to on a wire tap as “this thing” that “is f—–g golden.”
The six years includes two trials–the first ended in a mistrial–that ultimately led to his conviction and 2.5 years of prison time so far.
Many legal experts and political observers have said that if Blagojevich had taken a plea agreement at the outset, that he would have received a lesser sentence and could quite possibly already be out of prison or nearing the end of his term.
The 14-year sentence was viewed has especially harsh and designed to serve as a lesson to future public officials.
When the couple celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary in August, Patti Blagojevich posted a letter from her husband on Facebook.
“Thank you for walking through life with me,” the ex-governor wrote. “I’m sorry the journey has been so bad for so long. The end of this nightmare must surely be near.”