By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Images of a gray-haired Rod Blagojevich in prison were leaked this week to the gossip site, Radar Online.
Radar Online published a series of photographs showing the former Illinois governor sitting outside and also reading a book while sitting at a desk inside the federal Colorado prison where he is serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.
“The governor is bearing this ordeal with strength and faith in the judicial system,” Blagojevich attorney Len Goodman said. “He is doing fine. He had been teaching classes until he was moved to a camp area. He now spends his time working in the law library and reading. He ran nine miles this week. He is still hoping his conviction will be over-turned on appeal.”
Back in 2012, when Blagojevich first reported to prison, the ex-governor’s barber told the Associated Press that Blagojevich, now 58, had dyed his hair for years.
Peter Vodovoz had been Blagojevich’s barber for more than two decades. He said the ex-governor’s dark-brown dye would fade quickly while in prison.
A spokesman for the prison said at the time that hair dye is banned because inmates could use it to change their appearances in escape attempts.
Mike Jaccarino, a reporter with the National Enquirer, told us the tabloid got photos of the ex-governor from a source inside the prison.
Jaccarino says his source told him Blagojevich, “doesn’t really socialize and he’s very paranoid of everyone.”
Goodman takes issue with the Enquirer’s story.
“I don’t want to dignify allegations in the captions which are totally false,” Len Goodman said in an email. “The governor is bearing this ordeal with strength and faith in the judicial system. He is doing fine. He had been teaching classes until he was moved to a camp area. He now spends his time working in the law library and reading.”
In an interview earlier this month, the ex-governor’s brother, Robert, said he “absolutely” is still angry that federal prosecutors went after him, claiming they made him a pawn in their pursuit of his brother.
“To this day, I still harbor that anger, he told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov at his son’s home in Florida.
Federal prosecutors dropped all charges against Robert Blagojevich in 2010, after a federal jury deadlocked on the charges against him. The feds pared down their case against his brother, winning convictions on more than a dozen counts, culminating in a 14-year prison term.
To this day, the brothers’ relationship remains severely strained. The two haven’t spoken since Rod went to prison.
“I love my brother. I wish him nothing but the best. I’m not angry with Rod. In retrospect, maybe he shouldn’t have asked me to come help him out; but, to me, the bad guy here is Patrick Fitzgerald and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago. They knew better, in my opinion, and found me to be a very convenient target,” he said.