CHICAGO (CBS) — From the investigation that started in the early 2000s to his release from federal prison Tuesday, taxpayers have been on the hook for nearly two decades worth expenses involved with prosecuting a former governor.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has more on the cost of corruption for one politician.
It would be nearly impossible to assemble a comprehensive list detailing the total bill paid by Illinois residents in the investigation, prosecution and incarceration of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
But it started with an eight year FBI investigation that began in 2003. The case began with one agent and by 2008, dozens of agents were required to monitor more than 500 hours of conversation live.
Based on the average salary for an FBI Agent in Chicago, that’s at least $32 an hour. Putting the cost of the just the wiretapping alone into the hundreds of thousands.
That was followed by two federal trials.
Blagojevich depleted a once $2.6 million campaign fund paying for representation in the first trial. For the second trial, taxpayers were on the hook for his defense.
Paying two lawyers $125 an hour and a paralegal $75 an hour. That’s $2,600 for one eight-hour day. His second trial was more than two months long.
And that’s just the defense. Not including the time of the U.S. prosecutors, judge and other court staff who are salaried.
What about his eight-year stay in federal prison? Blagojevich spent 2,896 days behind bars.
When he went in, the cost was approximately $79.31 per day. By 2018, the latest figure available, that cost was $102.60 per day, leaving taxpayers on the hook for at least $260,000 for his stay.
The original bill for his 14-year prison sentence was somewhere around $350,000. Obviously there are countless other expenses that could be added onto the final bill including the cost of appeals.