â€œA terrible day in Illinois historyâ€
Calling it a â€œterrible day in Illinois history,â€ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the indictment of former Governor Rod Blagojevich by the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office â€œserves to confirm the publicâ€™s long-standing distrustâ€ of Blagojevich and his administration and that â€œit underscores the culture of corruption that has afflicted our state for far too long.â€
In a released statement by Madigan, she stated that â€œWhile this is a terrible day in Illinois history, it is also a moment in which we can recognize an opportunity for real reform. Today provides us a chance — not just to bring to justice former Governor Blagojevich — but also to move forward by putting into place changes that will enable state government to establish a true sense of accountability and restore the publicâ€™s trust.Â I am thankful for the extraordinary work of the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office and the FBI, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature and the executive branch to enact positive changes that end this dismal chapter in our stateâ€™s history.â€
Blagojevich was indicted on 16 federal corruption charges of racketeering, fraud and extortion. Others indicted were Blagojevichâ€™s brother, Robert, fundraiser Christopher Kelly, Alonzo â€œLonâ€ Monk, a former chief of staff to Blagojevich; John Harris, Blagojevichâ€™s chief of staff; who was arrested on charges the same day as Gov. Blagojevich; and William Cellini.
Blagojevich was also accused of a â€œPay to Playâ€ deal with the Senate seat left vacant by President Barack Obama