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Question of the day

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013

* ABC7

Former Illinois governor George Ryan is on home confinement, but in an I-Team exclusive photo, he can be seen having dinner at a restaurant more than 30 miles from home.

Ryan is supposed to be spending the next six and a half months confined to his home in Kankakee. So, imagine the shock and awe that overcame some patrons in a popular south suburban restaurant when they saw the ex-governor sitting at a table with five other people having Sunday dinner.

The restaurant is 31 miles away from Ryan’s home, a 45-minute drive for the corrupt ex-governor who is on home confinement. […]

Late Sunday afternoon, at an Italian restaurant in Frankfort, the disgraced governor walked in the front door and sat down in what the manager calls “a secluded table.” Ryan, seen in a photo with his daughter-in-law, Amy, who made the reservation, dined with son George Ryan Jr. and two friends.

When contacted by telephone Monday afternoon, the I-Team asked Ryan, “We have a photo of you dining with some people last night at a restaurant in Frankfort. How could that happen?” Ryan, after lengthy pause, said, “I have no comment about anything.”

* CBS2

His attorney, fellow former Gov. Jim Thompson, told WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger the terms of Ryan’s home confinement allow him to leave the house on weekends, with permission.

“The notion that he is somehow getting special privileges is crazy,” Thompson said.

He said the rules are clear for a low-risk prisoner like Ryan.

“On the weekends, you are allowed six hours on Saturday, or six hours on Sunday, with two hours additional for church, as long as you tell the Bureau of Prisons ahead of time where you’re going,” Thompson said.

The rules for weekend leaves also require anyone on home confinement to go to a public place, not someone’s home, and not a bar or tavern.

* ABC7

Chief Probation Officer Phillips says that there is no rule affording 6 hours of public outings and church service attendance to all prisoners but that such arrangements may made on a per-prisoner basis. She would not provide the terms of Ryan’s home confinement and those details are not normally made public or in court records.

“Inmates on home confinement are granted permission to leave their home for a variety of purposes” Traci Billingsley, chief spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons in Washington, said.

“Information pertaining to individual requests by individual inmates are not a part of the public record and would not be available to you. For this reason I cannot confirm whether Mr. Ryan’s reported absence from the home was authorized by the BOP,” she said.

* The Question: Is it time to just move on from George Ryan? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

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* By the way, the US Supreme Court denied Ryan’s appeal yesterday. Ryan hoped to have his conviction overturned

The former governor wanted them to reconsider his conviction based on a 2010 decision saying honest service fraud requires bribery and kickbacks. Ryan’s lawyers said the jury instructions at his trial were wrong, and that it was never proven that he took bribes. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn his conviction, and the high court refused to reconsider that decision.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dazed & Confused - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    Amen. The press needs to give it up and move on. The case was adjudicated, he served his time, and was released. Perhaps if they had spent more time actually REPORTING on other issues rather than playing “gotcha” we would be better off.

  2. - Esteban - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 1:59 pm:

    It should have been obvious to anyone that Ryan had permission to be away from home and that there was no story there.

  3. - in absentia - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Meanwhile, back in the Statehouse….

  4. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:02 pm:

    Move along. There is current corrpution to ignore

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:04 pm:

    Did I miss the newscast where all of Chicago’s crime was solved following intense media pressure to value the lives of the city’s children?

  6. - Fed up - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    He should be allowed to go to a resturant right after the Willis kids are able to enjoy a meal with their father.

  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    Gee, Chuck, all that time in the tanning booth and hairdresser for this?

    And how come no exclusive on what he ordered? Good tip? Bad tip?

    Move on.

  8. - cassandra - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Given the immense damage Ryan (and Blago-it’s bipartisan political badness) did to Illinois state government and its political system, I certainly don’t think he should be getting any special favors. But I don’t know what special treatment would be; not a bad idea for reporters to research this and keep an eye out though and raise the question.

  9. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    Qualified “No, keep up the heat.” “It should have been obvious . . .” How? Once we find out that indeed he had court permission (if in fact he did), then he gets a pass in the future. IMHO, he has to prove himself worthy of our trust. Until then, treat him like any other.

  10. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    unless someone comes up with something he’s doing wrong now or he’s getting special treatment, move on. he was obnoxious in person as Ill Sec of State and I have no desire to see him covered in the news. God bless the Willis family.

  11. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    ABC, CBS and company all over this #breakingnews!

    Meanwhile, up in Chicago…

  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Move. On!

    As more crime, and as more corruption continues in the city of Chicago, we are worried about George Ryan and his dining habits, on a weekend?

    I am embarrassed for the report on it, the camera man, and for Chuck Goudie, Regine Schlesinger, and all these dopes continuing this saga that everyone is trying to move on from.

    Are we done?

  13. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    I’m not sure that there is much to explain why I voted “move on.”

    Ryan is the Bureau of Prison’s problem now. No need for the distraction.

  14. - Raising Kane - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    That was a pathetic story. Enough already….leave the guy alone.

  15. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:29 pm:

    I didn’t vote because I am somewhere in the middle.

    I thought it was time for him to be released; however, home confinement is home confinement. If you want to set him free with no strings then do so; but special rules for some, etc., strikes me as not in anybody’s best interest.

  16. - Hank - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:38 pm:

    The case was adjudicated, he served his time, and was released…… it wasn’t, his sentence ends in July. I didn’t think the halfway house for a man his age was worthwhile, but he should have been confined until the sentence ends. Send his tired butt back to the pen until July. Until that time, keep the heat on, hot hot hot

  17. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    I’m breathlessly waiting to learn whether GR picked up the check.

    Gotta go, time to refresh my browser screen………

  18. - WOW - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    The FEDS can approve these things. Leave the man alone. He did his time.

  19. - Susiejones - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 2:42 pm:

    move on. he served his time in prison; he is following the rules of home confinement, apparently. don’t care to hear any more about him. LOTS more important things that need to be reported on by the media.

  20. - been there - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:08 pm:

    The other diners at the restaurant shouldn’t have to have had him inflicted on them. Obviously some of them knew he was there even though his table was “secluded”, and very likely they knew he was supposed to be confined at home. Did they get refunds?

  21. - Been There - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    Move on. If he was instead actually in the halfway house I believe they are allowed out during certain hours and have to just say were they are going.

  22. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:15 pm:

    Plus, Homer can’t drive.

  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    Hank, see you in church.

  24. - Sunshine - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:22 pm:

    Geeesh….move along! There is a lot more to be concerned about that is far, far more newsworthy.

    This is just goofiness to the max.

  25. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:23 pm:

    Keep up the heat. Systemic corruption directed by his office and led to the actual death of innocent children who did get a chance to go to high school, college, get married, or even become governors.

  26. - soccermom - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:24 pm:


  27. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    Really, I would say let it go, but I can’t help but recall a fire breating Lisa Madigan saying she would go after him and not leave it to the feds, yet she has never filed a state charge. Just for the pure chuckle of the joke the AG is, keep it up.

  28. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:26 pm:

    Keep up the heat. Systemic corruption directed by his office and led to the actual death of innocent children who did not get a chance to go to high school, college, get married, or even become governors.

  29. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    Wordslinger: Scott and Janet Willis are devout Christians. Maybe you and Hank will see them in church.

  30. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:34 pm:

    The band is courageously playing on as the bow of the good ship Illinois is slowly disappearing into the rising sea. I say hound all the former captains until the last piece of stern disappears, forever.

  31. - OurMagician - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    Home confinement should be exactly that, home confinement except for medically necessary trips. If someone violates their parole, they go back to jail, why should this be different?

  32. - Anon. - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    I say it’s already time to move on for Jesse Jr. Disgraced, out of office - forget about them both. And whoever that dude was who was governor after Ryan.

  33. - Commonsense in Illinois - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:46 pm:

    Sweeps month! Wonder if they would have even reported it if not for the EXCLUSIVE PHOTO.

  34. - Sgt Schultz - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    Whether George Ryan eats a bowl of spaghetti at home or at a restaurant is useless information.

  35. - Ghost of John Brown - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    George Ryan did much to disgrace the GOP. For that, he served his time. I’m fine with that.

    At this point, I think he should be relegated to obscurity. At least this GOP’er doesn’t care about him anymore and I don’t care to either. As others have said - move on. If a reporter can’t report on CURRENT corruption, they aren’t looking very hard. Focus on the important. GR is no longer important.

  36. - Jerome Horwitz - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    The news media needs stories like this to engage viewers, to sell advertisements and to make profits.It’s a business.

  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:11 pm:

    –Wordslinger: Scott and Janet Willis are devout Christians. Maybe you and Hank will see them in church.–

    Mister, don’t you pretend that you can appropriate the Willis’ family grief as your own.

  38. - Levois - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:16 pm:

    Let the old man enjoy his release from prison. He did his time and now he’s almost a free man.

  39. - Dazed & Confused - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:32 pm:

    @ Hank. He was adjudicated, served his time and was released to a halfway house - then the government sent him home and he has the same rights as others to leave the home for brief periods of time. NO special favors.

    Secondly, with all due respect and recognizing the tragedy, George Ryan did not kill the Willis family. A piece of metal fell off of the truck that was being driven by an individual who bought his license. Ryan’s campaign fund benefitted but the prosecutors did not prove or show that Ryan personally knew about it or approved it. It’s a tragedy but you can’t lay those deaths on him.

  40. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:33 pm:

    Maybe a debate about what home confinement should constitute in the federal prison system might be in order. But if Ryan’s following the rules, what else is there to say? And besides, as an earlier poster noted, the rules he’s under at home are stricter than they would have been at the halfway house.

  41. - soccermom - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:41 pm:

    I am guessing that if he violated the rules of his release he’d be back behind bars already. Gosh, the definition of news has changed since I was young.

  42. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    Move on. Chuck Goudie weakens the strength of his powerful
    platform for spotlighting corruption by airing this non-starter
    But, it is “sweeps month,” after all.

  43. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:47 pm:

    Let him be. Hounding him now is sadism, not news.

  44. - Guzzlepot - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:51 pm:

    Move on. It’s not like he was found in a brothel or a heroin shooting den. If there was a violation it was minor and merits at most a warning.

  45. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:54 pm:

    Believe you me, George Ryan had more special treatments than the press got a hold of, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

  46. - Dan Bureaucrat - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 4:59 pm:

    For God’s sake. There is no value in perpetually attacking and demonizing people with criminal records. Any of them.

    We have a system of punishment and it has plenty of punishment for everyone. The excess says more about the people heaping it on.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 5:33 pm:

    ===Believe you me, George Ryan had more special treatments than the press got a hold of, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.===

    You base this on …what?

  48. - Muffin Man - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 5:44 pm:

    I would re-phrase option B from “No, keep up the heat” to “No, follow the law” and make sure George is following the terms of his release. I say “follow the law”.

  49. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 5:47 pm:

    I believe that Gov Ryan got what he had coming. He served a considerable amount of time in prison. Did he “pay his debt”? At this point, it doesn’t matter. He served his term. He can’t hurt anyone anymore. Let. It. Go.

  50. - x ace - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 6:38 pm:

    M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E……..

  51. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 7:14 pm:

    It’s an easy story to fill 4 minutes of air time towards the end of the broadcast. He did the time.

  52. - Richard Afflis - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:01 pm:

    He is doing his time. He is not likely to leave his home like this without permission. He is not likely to commit a new crime. He is just outside four months from finishing his sentence.
    There are probably more important stories out there to cover. This probably helps keep him in the news so when he can speak freely, he can get those speaking engagements.
    Even though he had to get convicted, he had a better idea on how to govern than his successors have done so far.

  53. - Video Gaming King - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:06 pm:

    Why is JJ JR not on the news today> Nothing on CNN FOX or MSNBC

  54. - Blue Sox - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:28 pm:

    Please give this up. It’s over. Done.

  55. - Shoeless - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:42 pm:

    I have no love for George Ryan (actually when i was covering politics though, he was at least more direct and less condescending than Jesse Jr.) but this only drives home how trivial this business has become (and how i can’t wait to bid it farewell).

  56. - kj - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:55 pm:

    At first reading this I thought, yah…let’s move on…but I thought a bit more and think, heck no. If he didn’t commit these crimes, might there be 7 more people alive today?

  57. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 8:57 pm:

    What a minute…
    Which corrupted politician are we discussing now? They are all starting to blur.

  58. - Excessively Rabid - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 9:20 pm:

    ==George Ryan did not kill the Willis family. A piece of metal fell off of the truck that was being driven by an individual who bought his license.==

    Amen. Ryan was justly sentenced as far as I can see, but blaming him for the Willis kids’ deaths is a stretch at best and ridiculous at worst.

  59. - ZC - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 10:12 pm:

    > blaming him for the Willis kids’ deaths is a stretch at best and ridiculous at worst.

    Well, no and no …

    But as long as we’re not trying too hard to recuperate George Ryan’s legacy, I will side with those who say move on, just give it a rest.

  60. - I don't want to live in Teabagistan - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 10:31 pm:

    The driver of the truck paid a bribe to get a license. He never passed the required tests.

    The driver did not heed warnings over his CB radio that his mudflap taillight assembly was dangling and going to fall off–he says the CB was broken. He also did not understand other truck drivers pulling beside him, honking and pointing, indicating there was a problem. He had 8 tickets and 5 accidents on his record up to that point.

    He got that license because of the systemic corruption in the Ryan SoS.

    For more, see here

  61. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 20, 13 @ 10:45 pm:

    Move on. He paid his time and then some. He was made an example of anyway. Didn’t help I guess.

    And it doesn’t take 45 minutes to get to Frankfort from Kankakee

  62. - Mouthy - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 12:08 am:

    I worked under George Ryan back in the early eighties as a holdover from a prior adminstration. He was a tough, old school politician. I have no great fondness for him but it’s time to let it be.

  63. - Undercover - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 7:08 am:

    Let it go. So he had dinner with his family. Who cares?

    Furthermore, what kind of lazy arse journalists find this newsworthy? I don’t think Illinois cares.

  64. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 8:21 am:

    He should be treated like any other ex-con. No better, no worse.

  65. - the Patriot - Thursday, Feb 21, 13 @ 8:25 am:

    It is a bit of an indictment on the media. They tracked down an ex-con to dinner, yet they won’t ask sitting politicians realy questions. Good job, Ryan got special treatment, how about asking the speaker about gross constitutional violations by failing to balance the budget and the fact we have the worst financial outlook in the nation. If he was a Democrat this wouln’t even be reported.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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