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.”
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.
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.
* 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.