News Updates:3/15/2012: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich entered Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Englewood in Littleton, Colorado which is 15 miles southwest of Denver. It is a low security facility.
Annie Sweeney: "...he told a crowd of people that saying goodbye to wife Patti and his two daughters was the toughest thing he had ever done."
Source: Annie Sweeney. "Rod Blagojevich enters federal prison in Colorado to start 14-year sentence." ChicagoTribune.com. 3/15/2012.
12/07/2011: Former governor Rod Blagojevich admitted guilt and expressed remorse in an apology to his wife and family, to the residents of Illinois, and to the judge at his sentencing hearing. Blagojevich learned he will be imprisoned for 14 years.
"According to Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair, Blagojevich turned to his wife Patti and whispered "I love you" after the verdict was read. Patti kept shaking her head and remained seated as the jury exited the trial room."
Source: "Blagojevich found guilty of corruption charges." MSNBC.com. 6/27/2011.
08/17/2010: The jury convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich of lying to the F.B.I. and split over the other 23 counts.
04/02/2009: Reportedly while at Walt Disney World with his wife and children, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich learned of his indictment for what U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald called in December a "political corruption crime spree." According to The New York Times the 16 felony counts include "racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion conspiracy in a wide-ranging scheme to deprive residents of honest government."
01/29/2009: In a 59-0 vote, the Illinois State senate voted to removed Blagojevich as Governor. Additionally, Rod Blagojevich can never hold political office again in Illinois.
12/09/08: Gov. Rod Blagojevich was released on his own recognizance after paying a $4,500 bond after federal corruption charges were filed against him.
United States District Court Criminal Complaint against Rod R. Blagojevich and John Harris
"Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested Tuesday on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder as part of what federal prosecutors called a "political corruption crime spree."
Source: Don Babwin. "Ill. governor arrested in corruption scandal." SFGate.com. 12/9/08.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on wife of Blagojevich: "She [Patricia Blagojevich] is part of the conversation with the governor and others making suggestions as to what should happen."
Source: Leah Hope. "Illiinois' First Lady mentioned in complaint." ABCLocal.go.com. 12/9/08.
Patricia Mell: Born abt. 1963.
How Rod and Patti Met:
Wedding Date:Ron and Patricia were married in 1990.
- Amy Blagojevich: Born abt. 1996.
- Annie Blagojevich: Born in 2003.
"I want to make money," Blagojevich allegedly said in one conversation, "between $250,000 and 300,000 a year."
Source: Andy Shaw. "Gov's arrest brings political implications." ABClocal.go.com. 12/9/08.
Patricia Blagojevich: First Lady of Illinois, fundraiser, investment banker, licensed real estate broker, and appraiser.
AP: "The Chicago Christian Industrial League has fired Patti Blagojevich from her position as development director. Blagojevich was hired in September and was earning a $100,000 annual salary."
Source: Michael Sneed. "Patti Blagojevich fired from charity job." SunTimes.com. 1/22/2009.
Greg Hinz: "... the 3,817-square-foot house has two fireplaces and two bathrooms, according to the Cook County Assessor's web site. Built around 1926, it has an estimated value of $957,000, according to Zillow.com, a residential real estate site. But the residence's historic important might inflate that figure."
Source: Greg Hinz. "Blagojeviches looking to move to high-rise." ChicagoBusiness.com. 1/29/2009.
Quotes About the Marriage of Patricia and Rod Blagojevich:"The story is one of familial affection mixed with liberal activism, a father taking a shine to his daughter's boyfriend and eventual husband to create an heir to the family political fortune."
Source: Eric Krol. "The Rise of Rod Blagojevich." Daily Herald 10/3/2002. Section 1 Page 9.
Richard Mell, alienated father-in-law: "I really liked Rod. I thought there was great promise for Rod. I thought he could be the president. He went askew somewhere. Something happened—the power, or whatever. I don't know."
Source: David Bernstein. "Mr. Un-Popularity." ChicagoMag.com. 2/2008.
Stacy St. Clair: "An unflattering portrait depicting Illinois First Lady Patricia Blagojevich as a modern-day Lady Macbeth who plotted against her husband's perceived enemies and backed his corrupt schemes emerged in court documents connected to the governor's arrest Tuesday."
Source: Stacy St. Clair. "Governor's wife supported his pay-to-play Senate scheme, complaint alleges." ChicagoTribune.com. 12/10/08.
Don Babwin: "He [Dick Mell] also told reporters that his daughter had "blinders on" when it came to the governor and that she would "wake up one day" to understand what her husband was really like."
Source: Don Babwin. "Arrest of Ill. governor puts spotlight on his wife." SFGate.com. 12/10/08.