The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, April 17, 2006

Former Illinois Governor faces sentencing

I was only familiar with Republican governor George Ryan for his decision to postpone all executions pending a review of the state's application of the death penalty. Now he's been sentenced for all manner of wrongdoing, largely involving (what else?) corruption.

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan has, for the past six months, been on trial for racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, obstructing the IRS, tax fraud and lying to FBI agents. Today, the jury in his corruption trial has reached a verdict. Ryan has been found guilty of all counts.

On trial with Ryan was lobbyist Larry Warner. Warner was also found guilty of all counts.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald took over the investigation into corruption in the Governor's office in 2002,indicting him in December of 2003 (Fitzgerald indicted some 73 Ryan administration officials before he made his way to the top). "I submit that the citizens of this state expect honest government from the secretary of state or the governor," Fitzgerald said at the time. "They deserve nothing less." (Fitzgerald was in the courtroom while the verdict was read).

For those not familiar with Illinois state politics, George Ryan was a Republican who was governor from 1999 to 2003. Before that, he was Secretary of State, from 1990 to 1998. A Republican powerhouse, his actions mirror those of Republicans on the national scene: cronyism, rewarding campaign donors, free trips to Jamaica, accepting gifts from lobbyists, and more.