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Rod Blagojevich was the Democratic Governor of Illinois, having been first elected in 2002 and then re-elected in 2006. On December 9, 2008, Blagojevich was arrested for political corruption. The Illinois House of Representatives impeached him, and the Senate voted on January 29, 2009, to remove him from office. Blagojevich previously represented parts of Chicago in the U.S. Congress.
On December 9, 2008, Blagojevich was arrested at his home by federal agents. He had been under federal investigation since 2003 as part of a wider probe of corruption in Illinois. An affidavit released by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald alleged Blagojevich was participating in a scheme to solicit bribes in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Elect Barack Obama. Blagojevich allegedly discussed "selling" the Senate seat with his chief of staff, John Harris, who was also arrested.
In addition, the indictment alleges Blagojevich attempted to blackmail the owners of the Chicago Tribune. The governor allegedly threatened to withhold state financial assistance for Wrigley Field unless management at the paper eliminated positions on the Tribune editorial board.
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- Rod Blagojevich, Chicago Tribune, accessed December 2010.
- Keith Perine and Jonathan Allen, "Illinois Governor Arrested for Trying to Sell Senate Appointment," CQ Politics, December 9, 2008