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December 9th, 2008
02:52 PM ET

Past Illinois officials who got in trouble with the law

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/09/illinois.govenor/art.gov.gi.jpg caption="Governor Rod Blagojevich isn't the first Illinois politician to run into trouble with the law."]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Here are some Illinois officials who ran afoul of the law:

Orville Hodge, state auditor, 1953-1956. In 1956, Hodge was convicted of confidence games, embezzlement and forgery involving more than $2 million in state money. He financed a lifestyle that included homes in Florida and Illinois and two airplanes. Hodge was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 12-15 years.

Otto Kerner, governor, 1961-1968. After he left office and became a federal judge, Kerner was convicted on counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury and related charges. When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kerner was released early from prison. He died in 1976.

Paul Powell, secretary of state, 1965-1970. Investigated in 1966 but cleared of corruption charges, Powell died in a hotel room with more than $800,000 in cash stashed in shoe boxes.

William J. Scott, attorney general, 1969-1980. Convicted in 1980 of income tax evasion, Scott served seven months of a 366-day sentence.

William Stratton, governor, 1953-1961. Indicted on charges of violating income tax laws. The charges concerned the abuse and spending of campaign fund contributions. Stratton was acquitted in 1965.

Dan Walker, governor, 1973-1977. Convicted in 1987, Walker served 17 months for obtaining illegal loans used to finance a chain of quick oil change franchises for personal gain. The loans also funded the operation of an 80-foot yacht, the Governor's Lady. Walker was head of the thrift that provided the loans.

George Ryan, governor 1993-2003: Convicted of political corruption in 2006 for using his office as governor and earlier as secretary of state to enrich himself and his friends at taxpayer expense. He is currently serving a 6 1/2 year sentence.

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    What an assortment of miscreants. But is Illinois that unusual when compared to other states? While the current governor's crime is pretty bad, what other governors of other states did things to compare? Back in the late 70s or early 80s Tennessee's then governor was selling regulatory seats and pardons. He was later convicted and jailed. I bet there are a bunch like this.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    December 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  2. Butch, Westminster,Colorado

    Why wouldn't the Lt. Governor get to appoint a person to fill Obama"s seat

    December 9, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  3. Larry

    Retiring Illinois Senate President Emil Jones said the seat should be passed to a black replacement, himself or Jesse Jackson Jr. Dunno why Jesse Jackson Sr. would not be interested, he has run for POTUS, same with Al Sharpton.

    December 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Joe

    Gov. Blagojevich must have approached some of the potential appointees to let them know the vacant senate seat was for sale. Did any of them notify authorities, or were they all just considering what their bids would be?
    Joe, Denver, CO

    December 9, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  5. Franky

    Yep, that's our state alright, LOL!!

    Ohh man, Honest Abe is not only rolling his grave, but is wondering what is going to our state??

    You know as a Conservative, I have an idea what is up with us and boy, I think I have all the evidence I need. Let's just say even our Lord can't do nothing about it. Like I've said before, God loves this state and this state only. All the other states, they have no idea...

    December 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Hamza Raheel

    Whats up America ! Don't you think we have had enough? We are already having tough time, I think the FBI should do it in a different way! ...because of its impact on the economy which already suffer.

    December 9, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Larry

    Wonder what Revs Jacson & Sharpton have to say about all of this?

    December 9, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  8. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    and to think that the Tribune fell within hours of Blagojevich's downfall...

    December 9, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  9. Kevin

    No doubt a majority of republican officials because CNN fails to mention the party affiliation of these crooks.

    December 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  10. Cindy

    Well it seems as if Blagojevich is just falling in line with a long line of corrupt predecessors! Must be something in the water there that makes them think that they can get away with anything.

    Actually it's nothing new just look at congress and all of the miscreants that we have now and have had! It's a shame really!

    Cindy...Ga.

    December 9, 2008 at 3:22 pm |