Skip to main content


Blagojevich still 'fighting'

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich looks back at the crowd as he returns home after his sentencing Wednesday. (AP/Charles Rex Abrogast)

Rod Blagojevich has just over two months of freedom he's scheduled to begin a 14-year prison term. But the ex-Illinois governor and his lawyers plan to keep fighting.

After Judge James Zagel handed down the sentence, and the public was ushered out of the courtroom, more than an hour passed before the ex-governor, his wife and his lawyers appeared in the lobby of the court building.

Blagojevich attorney Aaron Goldstein said in that private time, the Blagojeviches "were extremely saddened...There was a lot of silence. A lot of silence."

Goldstein said the legal team will appeal the governor's sentence and his conviction.

"We're going to appeal everything," he said.

That process could take years.

When Blagojevich was pleading for mercy in court, he acknowledged to Zagel that he made "mistakes" and apologized profusely. But his tone was different when he spoke later before TV cameras.

"This is a time to fight through adversity," Blagojevich said. "This is a time for me to be strong for my children, be strong for Patti. And this is also a time for Patti and me to get home, so we can explain to our kids - our babies, Amy and Annie - what happened, what all this means and where we're going from here."

"So, we're going to keep fighting on through this adversity," he concluded.

Blagojevich has to turn himself in by February 16th. With credit for good behavior, he could be released in 12 years.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.