WBEZ | George Ryan http://www.wbez.org/tags/george-ryan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Court won't hear appeal from ex-Illinois governor George Ryan http://www.wbez.org/news/court-wont-hear-appeal-ex-illinois-governor-george-ryan-105604 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3030_AP060417021403-ryan Charles Rex Arbogast-scr(1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Supreme Court won&#39;t hear an appeal from ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan over his corruption conviction.</p><p>The justices on Tuesday turned away Ryan&#39;s appeal without comment.</p><p>The former governor wanted them to reconsider his conviction based on a 2010 decision saying honest service fraud requires bribery and kickbacks. Ryan said the jury instructions at his trial were wrong, and that it was never proven that he took bribes. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn his conviction, and the high court refused to reconsider that decision.</p><p>A jury convicted Ryan in 2006 of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI. Ryan was released from prison earlier this year and is serving the rest of his sentence on home confinement.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/court-wont-hear-appeal-ex-illinois-governor-george-ryan-105604 Ryan, Cellini likely to meet in Indiana prison http://www.wbez.org/news/ryan-cellini-likely-meet-indiana-prison-105094 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3030_AP060417021403-ryan Charles Rex Arbogast-scr_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>One&#39;s on his way in and the other&#39;s on his way out.</p><p>Newly imprisoned Springfield businessman William Cellini and long imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan are likely to meet in coming days at a Terre Haute, Ind., penitentiary.</p><p>Cellini reported there Tuesday to start a year-long sentence for corruption. Ryan has nearly finished a 6 1/2-year corruption sentence.</p><p>Bureau of Prison&#39;s spokesman Chris Burke says no rules would bar them meeting and that they&#39;re likely to.</p><p>For decades, Cellini was a clout-heavy businessman known as the &quot;King of Clout.&quot; Onetime Ryan aide Scott Fawell says Ryan and Cellini are friends and that Cellini raised campaign money for Ryan.</p><p>They have more in common than being in the same prison. Both are Republicans and both are 78-years-old.</p></p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 08:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/ryan-cellini-likely-meet-indiana-prison-105094 Former Illinois Governor George Ryan to be released by end of January http://www.wbez.org/news/former-illinois-governor-george-ryan-be-released-end-january-105077 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS3030_AP060417021403-ryan Charles Rex Arbogast-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan is scheduled to be released to a Chicago halfway house at the end of January.</p><p>Ryan attorney Albert Alschuler says Ryan will leave prison Jan. 30 through a work release program, something attorneys have mentioned before.</p><p>The federal Bureau of Prisons website lists Ryan&#39;s official release date as July 4. The 78-year-old Ryan is serving a 6 &frac12;-year sentence in Terre Haute, Ind., for a 2006 corruption conviction.</p><p>Attorneys say it&#39;s been difficult because Ryan&#39;s wife died while he was incarcerated and he has no money.</p><p>Ryan was convicted of steering state contracts and leases to insiders in exchange for vacations and gifts while he was in office. He was accused of stopping an investigation into state employees accepting bribes in exchange for truck driver&#39;s licenses.</p><p>A former aide to imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan says life in a halfway house after prison has good and bad parts.</p><p>Ryan&#39;s former aide Scott Fawell made the comments Tuesday.</p><p>Fawell was also convicted and served prison time in the Ryan investigation. He spent time at a Chicago Salvation Army facility after his release. He says it was good to wear his own clothes, work and be closer to freedom. At the same time, inmates of all walks are together.</p></p> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/former-illinois-governor-george-ryan-be-released-end-january-105077 More prison time for Blagojevich than Illinois' other convicted governors? http://www.wbez.org/story/more-prison-time-blagojevich-illinois-other-convicted-governors-94538 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-02/RS3056_AP090414013129-blago Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to be sentenced this week, following a hearing in federal court that begins on Tuesday. Blagojevich was convicted on 17 corruption counts this past summer, and another one in 2010 – totaling a maximum prison sentence of 305 years.</p><p>The ex-governor’s lawyers want Judge James Zagel to sentence him to no more than three to four years. The prosecution is asking for 15-20 years, pointing out that a Blagojevich co-conspirator who “held no elected office of trust,” Tony Rezko, recently got a 10½ year sentence. (Rezko’s case was not handled by Zagel.)</p><p>Another reason the government gives for a long sentence: deterrence. “Sadly, Illinois has a history of corruption in government,” the prosecution writes. “The sentences imposed on previous criminals for public corruption crimes were not sufficient to dissuade Blagojevich from engaging in a myriad of criminal acts.”</p><p>Let’s now review the sentences those “previous criminals” got. If the government gets its way, Blagojevich will spend far more time behind bars than any other member of the imprisoned governors’ club.</p><p><strong>Governors</strong></p><p><em>George Ryan:</em> Governor from 1999-2003, Illinois secretary of state from 1991 to 1999. Found guilty in 2006 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during time as secretary of state and as governor. Sentenced to 6½ years, imprisoned from 2007 to present, with an estimated release date of July 4, 2013.</p><p><em>Otto Kerner:</em> Governor from 1961-1968, federal appeals court judge from 1968 to 1974. Found guilty in 1973 on 17 federal counts regarding actions during time as governor. Sentenced to 3 years, but imprisoned for less than a year (from 1974 to 1975) because of poor health.</p><p><em>Dan Walker: </em>Governor from 1973 to 1977. Pleaded guilty in 1987 to three federal counts regarding actions occurring after he left office. Initially sentenced to seven years, but released after a year and a half (from 1988 to 1989) because of health concerns.</p><p><strong>Other Illinois politicians</strong></p><p><em>Dan Rostenkowski</em>: Congressman from 1959 to 1995. Pleaded guilty in 1996 to two federal counts regarding actions during time in Congress. Sentenced to 17 months, imprisoned for 15 months, from 1996 to 1997.</p><p><em>Mel Reynolds: </em>Congressman from 1993 to 1995. Found guilty in 1995 on state counts related to having sex with a minor. Sentenced to five years. Then found guilty in 1997 on 15 federal counts regarding actions during campaigns for Congress. Sentenced to six and a half years. President Clinton commuted his sentence in 2001.</p><p><em>Betty Loren Maltese</em>: Cicero town president from 1993 to 2002. Found guilty in 2002 on six federal counts regarding actions during time as town president. Sentenced to eight years, imprisoned for seven years, from 2003 to 2010.</p><p><em>Jim Laski: </em>Chicago city clerk from 1995 to 2006. Pleaded guilty in 2006 on one federal count regarding actions during time as alderman and city clerk. Sentenced to two years, imprisoned for less than a year, from 2007 to 2008.</p><p><em>Tom Keane:</em> Alderman from 1945 to 1974. Found guilty in 1974 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during his time as alderman. Sentenced to five years, imprisoned for less than two years, from 1976 to 1978.</p><p><strong>Sources: Archives from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, and “<a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=alderman%20tom%20keane%20bio&amp;source=web&amp;cd=8&amp;ved=0CEgQFjAH&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uic.edu%2Fdepts%2Fpols%2FChicagoPolitics%2FAnti-corruptionReport.pdf&amp;ei=-IjWTu_bB8To2AXs_IHjAQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNF_b8GUPVHInlxue8VYkTuFhvJ18A&amp;cad=rja">Curing Corruption in Illinois</a>” by Thomas J. Gradel, Dick Simpson and Andris Zimelis from the UIC Political Science Department (2009)</strong></p></p> Mon, 05 Dec 2011 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/more-prison-time-blagojevich-illinois-other-convicted-governors-94538 Local first ladies weather the political and personal storms of their husbands http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-29/local-first-ladies-weather-political-and-personal-storms-their-husbands- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-29/Lura Lynn Ryan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan died late Monday after a long and public battle with lung cancer.<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/george-ryan-his-wife-when-she-died-88432" target="_blank"> Her husband, ex-Governor George Ryan, was at her side.</a> Ryan is currently serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for racketeering, tax fraud, conspiracy and making false statements to the FBI. According to reports it was thanks to his warden that Ryan was able to be at his wife's bedside.<br> <br> Just hours before the former first lady’s death, her successor<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/jury-finds-blagojevich-guilty-17-20-counts-88338" target="_blank"> Patti Blagojevich watched as her own husband’s career met a similar fate.</a> Meanwhile Chicago’s former first lady Maggie Daley has just been released from the hospital. Daley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.<br> <br> All three of these women have faced their share of challenges in the public spotlight. Some are personal, whilst others are the result from the public mistakes of their spouses. But all have stood by their man. To explore these relationships <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by author <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/" target="_blank">Carol Felsentha</a>l, who has written numerous profiles of famous political figures.</p></p> Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-29/local-first-ladies-weather-political-and-personal-storms-their-husbands- Today's questions: How do you save money at Wrigley? And is it 'EL' or 'L'? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-28/todays-questions-how-do-you-save-money-wrigley-and-it-el-or-l-84356 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-28/wrigley.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="325" width="400" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-28/wrigley.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p><strong>Top story</strong>: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/news/economy/venture-economics-baseball-84351">WBEZ's Al Keefe has a good story about the economics of baseball</a>, which ties into this week's opening day festivities. (Friday)&nbsp; It costs more than $300 to take a family of four to Wrigley Field; $250 for U.S. Cellular Field. My Dad is rolling over in his...well, bed (he's still alive). He grew up near Wrigley Field and told stories about how the gates would open after the 7th inning. You could just walk right in. Or stories about how he could get in for under a dollar because he knew all the ushers. Here's my tip for getting into Wrigley:</p><ol><li>Go to the costume shop.&nbsp; Buy a straw hat, pick up a banjo, and pose as one of those strolling, old-timey Dixieland musicians. You know they don't pay full price.</li><li>If you do have to pay for tickets, try to avoid the&nbsp;$8 Bud Lights and go with the $6 Old Styles. That'll save you a bit of money upfront, but you'll pay for it later.</li><li>Bring a foil-wrapped hot dog from home. Bring it to the concession stand and tell them you found pigeon hairs all over it. It's Wrigley Field, they have to believe you.</li><li>And finally, just wait 'til&nbsp;September to go to a game. They'll be giving tickets away then.</li></ol><p><strong>B story</strong>: Under the &quot;you can't be serious&quot; category today: <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/4512063-417/tapes-show-ex-gov.-george-ryan-didnt-understand-pardon">Former Governor George Ryan didn't understand pardons</a>. I&nbsp;guess there are two pardons - one that says &quot;Hey you are out but you are not cleared.&quot; The other is&nbsp;&quot;Hey, you are innocent...sorry. You can sue.&quot; He gave the latter pardon to 28 inmates, four of whom were on Death Row.&nbsp; The day after those pardons (Jan 11, 2003), Ryan put a moratorium on all death penalty cases. There is no death penalty in Illinois now, thanks (in part) to his decision. But this information does make you wonder if the moratorium was a cover-up, after he found out about the two different pardons. &quot;I&nbsp;did what?&nbsp;I declared their innocence? Why did you let me do that? Man, what am I going to do!&nbsp;Wait, I&nbsp;have an idea. A crazy one, that just might work....&quot;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>C story</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/how-to-fix-the-el-cta/Content?oid=3473194">The Reader has a big article on 'How to Fix the El.'</a> It's a good read, but I have to ask the question once-and-for-all: How do you spell &quot;El?&quot; I&nbsp;was under the impression it was &quot;L.&quot; Am I&nbsp;wrong here? Come on Chicago, let's organize to spell the train line the right way before we all organize to fix it. Sound good?&nbsp;This is as big a question as the age-old &quot;Where do you put the punctuation? Before or after the quotation?&quot;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Way too cold for a week that has April in it.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/4539103-419/cubs-dump-carlos-silva-after-his-rant-to-media.html">Carlos who</a>? Oh that's right, the guy we traded for Milton Bradley. He's still on the team? Carlos Silva complained over the weekend that the Cubs misled him after it became clear he wasn't going to make the team. The Cubs brass responded by saying...well, saying that Silva sucks. It's as simple as that. And the Cubs are on the hook for the $11.5 million still owed to Silva. So that means the Cubs and Jim Hendry are paying out of pocket $11.5 million for Milton Bradley. This year. That may go down as the worst free agency move in the history of Chicago baseball.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>:&nbsp;Admit it, you've always wanted to do this (via<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/gcx5c/admit_it_youve_always_wanted_to_do_this/"> Reddit</a>):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="667" width="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-28/oreos.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p></p> Mon, 28 Mar 2011 12:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-28/todays-questions-how-do-you-save-money-wrigley-and-it-el-or-l-84356 Gov. Ryan reflects from prison on decision to clear death row http://www.wbez.org/story/communitation/gov-ryan-reflects-prison-decision-clear-death-row <p><p>A court document is providing new insight into former Illinois Governor George Ryan's decision to clear death row in the last days of his administration.&nbsp; His reflections are contained in a deposition he gave to an attorney for the City of Chicago involved in a wrongful conviction lawsuit.&nbsp; The city was being sued by Oscar Walden, a man Ryan pardoned on the basis of innocence.&nbsp; The city attorney tried to undercut that pardon.<br /><br />The attorney asked Ryan how much time he spent on each pardon he granted, 15, 20 minutes?&nbsp; Did the governor investigate the crimes or talk to witnesses?<br /><br />Ryan said he relied on the investigations done by the prisoner review board and assumed they did their job right,&nbsp; but he says he remembers burning the midnight oil in his office with files all over the floor.&nbsp; He says he read about each prisoner's life, from childhood all the way through conviction.<br /><br />Ryan says he was positive innocent men were awaiting executio,&nbsp; but he couldn't tell who was innocent and who was guilty ,so he cleared death row because, &quot;if there's one that's innocent, I'm not going to wake up six months after I leave office and say, that guy got killed, and I could have saved him and didn't,&quot; said Ryan.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/communitation/gov-ryan-reflects-prison-decision-clear-death-row Ex-gov's wife released from hospital http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ex-govs-wife-released-hospital <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/lura lynn ryan_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>An attorney for imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan says Ryan's wife has been released from hospital three weeks after she was admitted and that she's now home.</p><p>Ryan's lawyer, former Gov. James Thompson, tells The Associated Press Lura Lynn Ryan was released from the Kankakee hospital Thursday afternoon.</p><p>Thompson says her release doesn't mean she's no longer considered terminally ill with cancer or that her condition has dramatically improved. He says it only suggests &quot;there's nothing more they can do for her in the hospital.&quot;</p><p>Thompson says he hasn't heard from the Indiana prison where Ryan's imprisoned about a request to release him on an extended furlough to be with his ailing wife.</p><p>Ryan was permitted to visit her for two hours shortly after she entered the hospital.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 22:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ex-govs-wife-released-hospital Exonerated fathers: abolish death penalty in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/death-penalty/exonerated-fathers-illinois-should-put-end-death-penalty <p><p>A pair of Illinois men who were charged with killing their daughters but were cleared by DNA evidence said the state should put an end to the death penalty.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />The <em>Chicago Sun-Times </em>reported that Kevin Fox and Jerry Hobbs said it should be required in murder cases to promptly test DNA in private laboratories. Hobbs said there were &quot;too many gaps in the system itself.&quot;<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />A bill to abolish the death penalty in Illinois awaits the signature of Gov. Pat Quinn.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />Hobbs spent five years in jail for the murders of his daughter and her friend. Kevin Fox spent eight months in jail in the death of his daughter Riley Fox. Both were cleared by DNA evidence.</p></p> Sun, 16 Jan 2011 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/death-penalty/exonerated-fathers-illinois-should-put-end-death-penalty Ryan to seek clemency from the president http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ryan-denied-freedom <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/george ryan court_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Former Illinois Governor George Ryan's plea for freedom to spend time with his terminally ill wife has been denied.&nbsp; Ryan had been secretly allowed to visit his wife last Wednesday in a Kankakee hospital.</p><p>In a one-page ruling Monday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals&nbsp;rejected an emergency motion filed by Ryan attorneys last Wednesday&nbsp;after Lura Lynn Ryan was rushed to intensive care.&nbsp;The ruling says Ryan hasn't met standards that allows for his&nbsp;release. It also says only federal prison officials can decide if&nbsp;Ryan should be let out for longer periods on compassionate grounds.</p><p>Ryan's attorney, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, said he'll submit a written request to the White House within the next few days. Thompson said he'll ask President Barack Obama to commute Ryan's sentence to his three years already served.</p><p>Last month, the federal judge overseeing Ryan's case denied an appeal from his lawyers, saying Ryan's six and a half year sentence for receiving kickbacks while in office, &quot;exacted a stiff penalty not only for himself, but also his family.&quot;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 22:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cancer/ryan-denied-freedom