Wired PR News.com – The Governor of Illinois was arrested on Tuesday in connection with allegations that he attempted to sell President Elect Barack Obama’s open Senate seat to whoever was willing to pay the highest bid. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Governor Rod Blagojevich has also been accused of threatening the bankrupt Tribune Co. with withholding state assistance until they fired writers of editorial pieces of which he was the subject of criticism.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was quoted in the AP report as commenting on the case “We were in the middle of a corruption crime spree, and we wanted to stop it… The conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave.”
The charges stem from a probe into Blagojevich’s practices in which investigators tapped his phones and bugged certain offices. As noted in the report, he was recorded as stating in regards to Obama’s seat “I’ve got this thing and it’s (expletive) golden… and I’m just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I’m not gonna do it.” Blagojevich had also been the focus of a hiring fraud investigation.
The Governor faces a combined sentence of up to 30 years in prison for the charges against him. How the Senate seat replacement will be determined is now in question.