Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » George Ryan sentencing - UPDATE: RYAN SPEAKS AT HEARING - GIVEN 78 MONTHS
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Wednesday, Sep 6, 2006

Here’s a special news feed for the latest George Ryan news. I’ll also post other updates as I see them. The hearing starts at 1pm, so check this space.

UPDATE: I’m told that Jim Thompson just walked into the federal building with George Ryan. Thompson’s firm represented Ryan pro bono.

UPDATE 2: Your best bet for listening to events live on your computer might be WBBM Radio. But I’ll check around. CLTV might be a good bet, too. ABC7 is promising live coverage.

UPDATE 3: CBS2 has a story up about what to expect at the sentencing.

UPDATE 4:E-mail message from a reporter on the scene: “Thompson actually snuck George into the Dirksen building, so we couldn’t photograph them coming in.”

UPDATE 5: Convictions on counts 9 and 10 have been tossed by the judge. The rest of the counts stand, according to WBBM radio. The station also reported that the crowd started gathering at 8:30 this morning.

UPDATE 6: From the jury instructions, here is what those two counts were:

…Count 9 of the Indictment, in which the defendant LAWRENCE E. WARNER is charged with, as part of the mail fraud scheme described in Count 2, an April 13, 1999 mailing related to the lease of the building at 17 N. State, Chicago, Illinois […]

Count 10 of the Indictment, in which the defendant GEORGE H. RYAN, SR. is charged with, as part of the mail fraud scheme described in Count 2, a March 12, 2001 mailing related to the payment of lobbying fees related to the selection of the town of Grayville as the site for a new prison,

UPDATE 7: From a reporter at the scene:

Becky (the judge) just threw out two of the mail fraud counts against Ryan and one against Warner. But that won’t have any effect on the ultimate sentence. They’re now arguing what the financial loss was to the state. So it could be awhile.

UPDATE 8: Acccording to WBBM Radio, the judge called the Willis deaths “an unspeakable tragedy,” but she said it was not germain to the charges in the case and so she would not take that into consideration when sentencing Ryan.

UPDATE 9: I hadn’t seen this one before because NBC5 seems to hide things on its website. This is a great resource that goes all the way back to the World Trade Center scandal when Ryan was lt. governor.

One of the final chapters of the George Ryan saga will come to an end Sept. 6, when he is sentenced for his felony convictions.

How did it come to this?

NBC5 has compiled the following archival stories that trace the history of investigations involving the former governor.

Go take a look.

UPDATE 10: WBBM: Prosecutor Pat Collins is arguing for a sentence right now of between 78 and 97 months. (Scott Fawell got 78 months. Betty Loren Maltese got 97 months.)

UPDATE 11: From a reporter at the scene:

“He was not betrayed by his friends, he betrayed the public trust.” -Pat Collins

UPDATE 12: WBBM just reported that Ryan himself may speak during the hearing. I’ll believe it when I see it, but there you have it.

UPDATE 13: Defense attorney Dan Webb is now speaking. From our reporter friend at the hearing:

Webb just said Ryan had it worse than Kerner because the investigation went on longer.

UPDATE 14 (3:26 pm): According to someone in the room with a Blackberry, George Ryan is speaking now.

UPDATE 15: Ryan has been sentenced to 78 months.

UPDATE 16: Ryan said that the public expected better from them, “and I let them down.”

UPDATE 17: CBS2: In addition to the prison sentence, Ryan was ordered to pay $603,048 in restitution.

UPDATE 18: Jan. 4 surrender date. Oxford Prison.

UPDATE 19: See it live on ABC7

UPDATE 20: Court is in a brief recess. Warner will be sentenced when that’s over.

UPDATE 21: Placeholder for the Sun-Times Ryan story is here, the Daily Herald story is here. The Trib placeholder is here.

UPDATE 22: 41 months for Warner

UPDATE 23: Statement from Topinka:

“The sentence handed down today is a reminder that Rod Blagojevich had a golden opportunity to restore trust in government after George Ryan, he promised voters he would do that — and he failed miserably.

It is now Rod Blagojevich facing a record number of corruption investigations, the same designation as Public Official A, the same mountain of subpoenas and legal bills. It’s like voters are forced to watch the sequel to a bad movie.

I’m running for governor to move past the Ryan-Blagojevich corruption scandals and build a brighter future for Illinois.”

UPDATE 24: Here’s your answer about the pension:

His more than $197,000 annual pension, however, will likely soon vanish. Upon his sentencing Wednesday, state pension officials asked the state attorney general to begin the process of canceling his taxpayer-supported pension.

Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said Ryan’s conviction is under review and an opinion on his pension will be coming soon.

Like any state official, Ryan’s pension can be revoked if convicted of crimes related to his public duties. Ryan was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years in prison for widespread fraud associated with him taking cash from political insiders in exchange for state contracts and other business while Ryan was secretary of state and then governor.

UPDATE 25: Oxford:

The federal judge handling his case recommended he serve his 6 1/2 year sentence in Oxford, Wis., roughly 60 miles north of Madison. That’s the same prison where former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski served his time and where several officials convicted in the Operation Greylord investigation ended up. Former insurance mogul Mickey Segal is currently imprisoned there, serving a 10-year sentence for siphoning millions from his brokerage firm to support a lavish lifestyle.

However, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said the final decision on where Ryan goes rests with the bureau and that decision has not yet been made.

Ryan’s wedding band is one of the few personal effects he can bring to prison. Cell phones and other electronics are banned.

He’ll be allowed face-to-face visits with friends and family and private meetings with his lawyers. His mail will be opened and inspected and a warden must first approve all newspapers, magazines and other subscriptions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Captain America - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 12:42 pm:

    Illinois SOS and Governor’s office were criminal enterprises when George Ryan served. Everything was for sale during Ryan’s tenure in office.

    Lock him up and throw away the key. He’s guilty as hell, has shown no sign of remorse, and should serve a substantial amount of time in jail, just like any other serious criminal.

    Not being a lawyer or a judge, I can’t say how long the sentence should be, but these pleas for leniency don’t elicit any sympathy from me.

  2. - Randall Sherman - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 1:35 pm:

    Seeing as Jim Thompson is a much taller man than Ryan’s trial attorney, perhaps they figured that Big Jim could literally use his body to shield Ryan from camera view.

  3. - Walking Wounded - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 1:39 pm:

    Now there’s a proud moment for Illinois…an ex-governor who got a previous governor convicted, now is escorting another convicted ex-governor into the Federal courthouse for sentencing. Couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 1:55 pm:

    “Walking Wounded,” you forgot to mention that Thompson’s law firm also represents the current governor’s campaign fund in what appears to be a federal corruption investigation.

  5. - Walking Wounded - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 1:57 pm:

    Rich, sorry, I’d lost my score card…..

  6. - Anon the Great - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 2:00 pm:

    Can Blago turn his campaign fund into a defense fund after he looses in November?

  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 2:39 pm:

    I love the way Winston and Strawn works. Republican governor is pro bono and a Democratic governor owes them half-a-mil.

  8. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 2:50 pm:

    Maybe if Blagojevich hadn’t burned so many bridges he could get pro bono representation too.

  9. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 2:51 pm:

    Rich, maybe you could have a question of the day: what would a George Ryan apology say?

  10. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:07 pm:

    Carl Nyberg 2:51 hits on the only way George Ryan gets less time that Scott Fawell: George Ryan must offer a complete and total, sobbing, overwrought apology to the Court, to the Willis family, to the prosecution and jury and to the People of Illinois. Such a display may be effective in convincing Judge Pallmayer that incarceration is not effective here, i.e. the defendant is an old man who cannot repeat his crimes and has obviously learned the error of his ways and admitted his crime.

    Of course, an apology - any apology - would kill an appeal. Just kill it.

    So, its a cold, crass, strategic decision.

    And I hope none of us ever has to make.

  11. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:14 pm:

    Having practiced before Judge Pallmeyer and tried several criminal trials before her, I think she is a wonderful judge, very fair and scrupulously (sp?) honest. She is, however, a bit of a stiff sentencer. The guess here is that he gets 60 months and that she does not allow him out on an appeal bond.

  12. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:28 pm:

    To apologize or not to apologize….

    I’d be curious to hear more speculation on what effect an apology would have on sentencing.

    It does sorta seem calculating for Ryan’s defense team to play the age/health situation for leniency rather than apologizing.

    If Ryan’s not going to apologize he should expect a stiff sentence, right?

  13. - SouthernILRepub - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:30 pm:

    78 Months!!!

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:31 pm:

    way to go with the scoop, Rich. beat everyone else to the punch as far as I can tell.

    78 months. Wow. that’s the rest of his life.

  15. - paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:32 pm:

    Rich - you beat WBBM by maybe a minute. Great work!

  16. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:36 pm:

    I think Ryan’s most effective apology will be one that sounds truthful.

    “I played politics the way I learned the game. I won because I was aggressive. I now realize my aggressiveness went to far. I crossed lines that I shouldn’t have. In the thick of competitiveness, I could justify it. Looking back, I regret those decisions. I was wrong….

    “I certainly did not foresee the consequences of people getting killed on the roads of Illinois. What can I say when actions I took and didn’t take were part of a chain of events that led to the deaths of a whole family of children? ‘I’m sorry’ seems inadequate….”

  17. - Veritas - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:46 pm:

    This sentence is not the WARNING it should be to those who would seek to illegally profit from the public trust. It’s a cost benefit analysis crooked politicians only need concern themselves with if they get caught. PATHETIC.

  18. - Buck Flagojevich - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:51 pm:

    So how many Illinois political convicts does this make at Oxford? Seems like there are enough there to play a decent game of poker.

  19. - Dem 61350 - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:54 pm:

    Send him to Sheridan Correctonal Center….I am sure the people who work there(the ones that came back after George shut it down) will welcome him with open arms!! I hear there is a guy named “Big Bubba” who wants him as a cellmate!

  20. - Larry Mullholland - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:57 pm:

    Oxford is here
    Medium Security Prison
    Visiting hours from 8:30am to 3 pm Friday Saturday Sunday & Federal Holidays

  21. - Justice - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 3:59 pm:

    It is done. The door to freedom has slammed shut and a new life in prison begins. A message has been sent. Won’t it be great when we can all brag about how great a state Illinois is and not have to talk about governors going to prison. That may well be a while with the current governor under investigation. Did you hear the gavel Blogo? Did you hear 78 months? Did you hear justice being served? Listen closely….know what I’m thinking….I think I hear a bus….thump, Thump, THUMP!!

  22. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:04 pm:

    Sad day for alot of people.

    Hopefully Ryan stays in good health and keeps focused on the fact he has a loving wife and children waiting for him when he leaves prison.

    Prison life is not easy for a 72 year old.

  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:05 pm:

    Rod’s next!

  24. - B Hicks - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:06 pm:

    Any Tristano news lately? I hear he’s a regular song bird.

    I wonder what names are getting tossed around there.

    Thump, thump, thump

  25. - Pat the C - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:12 pm:

    78 months. Wow. that’s the rest of his life.

    Is it? Don’t you usually get 50% of the time cut off for good behavior? Or is it 70% must be served?

  26. - Anon - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:13 pm:

    This might be enough time for Rod to join him. Does anyone know if any state has ever had two former Governors doing time at the same time?

  27. - Marie C. - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:14 pm:

    So, will he lose his pension? Social Security? Pharmacist license? Anything else?

  28. Pingback » Blog Archive » Gov. Ryan Sentenced - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:18 pm:

    […] Capitol Fax, of course, has the best coverage. UPDATE 14 (3:26 pm): According to someone in the room with a Blackberry, George Ryan is speaking now. UPDATE 15: Ryan has been sentenced to 78 months. UPDATE 16: Ryan said that the public expected better from them, “and I let them down.” UPDATE 17: CBS2: In addition to the prison sentence, Ryan was ordered to pay $603,048 in restitution. UPDATE 18: Jan. 4 surrender date. Oxford Prison. […]

  29. - Scoop - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:20 pm:

    CLTV is already rolling b-roll of JBT and George Ryan doing the Polka.

    Pat C…since it’s a Federal case, he’ll have to serve 85% of his sentence.

  30. - Ashur Odishoo - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:27 pm:

    I hope this is the beginning of the end to the “business as usual” and culture of corruption in Illinois. Yet, Todd Stroger tries to avoid a Federal Monitor as late as yesterday. And Daley just hired Ty Fahner to rid the city of its Shakman decree obligation.

    I think the public outrage will only come once the public equates the cost of corruption to loss of human life, loss of jobs, increased taxes, and a general lower quality of life.

    I wonder what Blago thinks about this sentence when he is supposedly under 5-8 Federal Investigations. He is going to need to keep $4-$6 million for his defense fund.

    Ashur Odishoo
    State Representative 11th District

  31. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:33 pm:

    Oxford FCI-has hosted some of Chicago’s finest. Dan Rostenkowski, Jerry Genova, currently hosting Donald Udsteun also.

  32. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:36 pm:

    Regarding Ryan, the state pension board will now have to address the issue of Ryan’s pension benefits. Thus far, I would guess he has been receiving monthly checks, but he’s been sentenced now for felony crimes he commited while Secretary of State and Governor (the obstruction of justice counts) so he cannot collect benefits for those time periods. However, can Ryan receive state pension benefits for his service in the General Assembly and as Lt Gov, or has he lost everything ? Also, does anyone know how the mechanics work for the state pension board, e.g. does a board member have to move to take action, does a staffer simply type in a few keystrokes, is there a hearing, etc. ?

    Somewhat lost in the discussion of the jail time is the fact Judge Pallmayer ordered Ryan to pay $600K+ in restitution. Courts don’t like to force felons to sell the residence of their spouse to pay the felon’s restitution award, but Webb has made it clear that is the only hard asset Ryan owns.

    Also, some folks may be wondering why Ryan walked out of court and wasn’t taken into custody immediately after sentencing. The answer is because Ryan’s bond continues and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BoP) gives a sentenced felon usually between 45 to 60 days to get their affairs in order before presenting themselves to BoP. During this time, the defense team will also make a request for where the felon should serve his time, and the court can recommend a particular facility to BoP. However, this is only a recommendation. BoP has serious overcrowding in this area as well as other issues to contend with. According to CBS2, the government filed a motion for a hearing on the defense’s request for an appeal bond, i.e. to allow Ryan to remain free on bond pending resolution of his appeal. J

  33. - Guy Fawkes - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:37 pm:

    Big Question is what kind of implications does this have for our current Governor - Rod Blagojevich?
    No problem, he and his compadres are as clean as a hounds tooth!

  34. - values matter - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:38 pm:

    Sad day for George Ryan, sad day for Illinois government and politics.

  35. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:43 pm:

    values, what are you sad about?

  36. - Gregor - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 4:55 pm:

    I expected two years or so, I think six is quite fair, condsidering it could have been so much more.
    I think if it had been a shorter sentence, they may not have tried so hard on the appeal. Six years makes the man way more desperate to try and get out of it, so I expect a much more vigorous appeal, trying every trick in the book to get the sentence overturned. If the appeal bond is denied, he may yet only do two years while the appeals wind thru the system. This case is going to be a continuing open festering sore on Illinois politics for the forseeable future, until all appeals run their course and the cell door slams.

  37. - Von Trapp Family Children - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 5:31 pm:

    “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen to you
    do do do do do do do do…do do do do do do”

  38. - Disgusted - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 5:54 pm:

    One down, one to go.

  39. - Doug Dobmeyer - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 5:59 pm:

    Well looking at and listening to the comments further muddies the waters. Geo Ryan escorted by Big Jim after George defied the Republican establishment and set 171 death row inmates free (4) or put 167 in life w/o parole status.

    Geo Ryan may do the proverbial rotting in jail, but understand he will die a hero. Often people have to go through this trauma in order to reaqch a higher staus - and it looks like George is on his way.

    Of course Illinois could remake itself and change the system. But when people like Cindi Canary try they are pooh poohed by the powers that be. So another George Ryan will be created in a few years.

    Doug Dobmeyer
    Today’s Issues

  40. - leigh - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 6:17 pm:

    Has anyone else seen JBT’s statement. She refers to the Ryan/Blago reign as if it is one and the same. She could do well to keep referring to Blago that way.

  41. - Truthful James - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 6:50 pm:


    Congratulations. From a small room in Springfield yet, you beat the media.

    I am waiting for the next shoe.

  42. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 7:19 pm:


    Your post illustrates the reason Ryan released all those thugs back into society: he wanted to build up a “hero” status and swell of public sympathy in order to avoid indictment or a stiff sentence … “judge him on the totality of his record of public service.” Give me a break. He didn’t commute their sentences to life, he flat out pardoned them!!!

  43. - Snidely Whiplash - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 7:22 pm:

    Note also that his “apology” consisted of saying he’s sorry for things happening on his “watch”, i.e., OTHERS did it, not him. This guy has never taken responsibility for what he did, and has shown a Rostenkowski-like arrogance throughout this fiasco he created. Forget those 6 dead children, let’s all feel sorry for George!

  44. - Philosophe Forum - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 7:46 pm:

    The ends justified the means. People deserve better.

    John Shimkus (IL-19) has 4 of Ryan’s former employees. They all learned well in Ryan’s personal school for corrupt politicians. They’ve even perfected his technique. No one even bothers paying any attention.

    It’s a shame. Ryan got 78 mos. Shimkus would deserve 150 mos.

  45. - grateful - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 7:56 pm:

    Sure Glad the Ryan thing has been done !!!

    Now it is Hot Rod’s Turn !!!!

    I feel so sorry for the People of Illinois

    To SEE Both these Men Waste Hard Earned
    Tax Payers Money $$$$

    Hope The Voters / Become More Aware

    Rod Said No More Business as Usual

    and Ethics Are Important!!!!

    What a JOKE!!!!!!!

  46. - Fran - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 8:03 pm:

    Paul Caprio was right

  47. - OAD - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 8:05 pm:

    Anyone else notice the huge rainbow in Springfield after the evening showers went thru?

    I know, I know…but it sure doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me!

  48. - Hans D - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 8:33 pm:

    >I hope this is the beginning of the end to the
    >“business as usual”

    Umm…Ashur Odishoo, Candidate, State Representative 11th District…are you serious?…’The beginning of the end’..? This is like a speed bump on a 2000 km long autobahn. This is going to slow NO ONE.

    Your platitude made me feel good, but sheesh…get real.

  49. - Napoleon - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 9:10 pm:

    In response to Leigh– JBT can do whatever she wants to do, gosh. But that message won’t resonate with the voters. They’ll go with the candidate who offers them health care, education without the parents having to bet on it, etc—–

  50. - Presidential Pardon? - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 9:24 pm:


    Seeing that W is surely to leave the Office of POTUS with one of the lowest approval ratings ever…think there’s any chance that Big Jim Thompson might be able to help his friend secure a Presidential pardon?

  51. - NumbersGuy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 9:45 pm:

    Hmmm, having problems with my wireless internet. Rich, do you think it could be the tinfoil hats blogging tonight?

  52. - tistophone - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 10:19 pm:

    I actaully feel sorry for the guy. A lot of CURRENT politicians and present state workers benefited from him and they are getting off “scott free.”

  53. - Rodney Reformer - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 10:49 pm:

    618 Democrat - Thank you for still believing in me. At least there is one 618 dem, er fool, who is in my corner, in spite of my 5+ subpoenas. Drat those kids, where are they when I need to put out a good press release on this whole thing. What to say, what to say?

  54. - sang dem - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 10:56 pm:

    You rs still dont get it do ya i feel so sorry for you guys this i believe is the 79th person found guilty in this mess wait 80th with warner and still i must add not one indictment or grand jury or anything else has found anything wrong with the current admin other than you guys not being able to accept the fact that you lost. Admit it and start the healing process i think you might have a very long convalescense to heal up. Keep up the whining its killing you but you’re still to arrogant to admit it.

  55. - Tom - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 11:37 pm:

    Presidential Pardon?

    Bush may pardon Ryan, but a pardon of Daley, if indicted and convicted, is guaranteed. It will be done on January 19, 2009, at 11:59.

  56. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 11:40 pm:

    Sang dem - do you not see your ridiculous your post is? Do you think Feds sniffing around, wiring up employees and issuing at least 5 subpoenas does not constitute something wrong going on with THIS administration?

  57. - Troy News Guy - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 11:43 pm:

    Just got back from the Metro East after driving to Chicago on my day off. Too bad I left before the proceedings were adjourned and was able to photograph the former Governor…. oh wait, he left through an underground tunnel. A storied tradition of governors ducking media through tunnels we have in 21st Century Illinois!

  58. - Tom - Wednesday, Sep 6, 06 @ 11:46 pm:

    Little Egypt: I tried to translate sang dem’s post to English, but failed.

  59. - Criminal Enterprise Called Illinois - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 2:53 am:

    I feel sorry for George Ryan too - you know why? He got caught. Many others went free. George’s corruption is the same as others before him and those to come, unfortunately. I believe he should serve time - and SO SHOULD SEVERAL OTHERS. The illegal crap that goes on in state agencies, even at lower management levels never seems to get busted. But HERE’s the REAL QUESTION: Why didn’t he sing? What would he have lost by doing so? Everything to gain. And we ALL know that George is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of them are guilty, even the sacred cow Jim Edgar. Its sad that George, who is a pretty nice guy, took the rap for business as usual in Illinois. We need a thorough house cleaning from top to bottom. This state is broken and dysfunctional. However, they pinned the tail on just one donkey.

  60. - Still Anon - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 10:31 am:

    Ryan strikes me as a character from a Shakespearean tragedy - gifted with great talents, capable of doing great things, but brought down by a tragic flaw. It will be a long time before there’s enough perspective to take in the whole picture.

  61. - Truthful James - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 10:58 am:

    His emptying death row was not done from any sort of moral obligation but for the very purpose of ameliorating his guilt.

    Let’s have Webb appeal successfully and retry Ryan again. Winston and Strawn would be apoplectic to do another pro bono bit.

    Then we can really sentence him properly. Fawell got 78 months and he wasn’t elected. The Mafia heads usually get a longer sentence than the soldiers.

  62. - Doug Dobmeyer - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 2:22 pm:

    Wow what a bunch of mostly silly comments - and from a seeming educated lot. The idea that GR flaunted the Republican establishment to take 171 people off of death row is denying reality.

    He told me he was engendering a lot of Republican hatred by that action. Perhaps that explains more than anything his prison death sentence.

    Its ironic that a man who did do much against the death penalty himself will endure what he stopped for others. If that is not a hero, then what is.

    Rich, I also think it is incredible that so many of your blog opinion makers are afraid to show their real names! What are they afraid of?

    Doug Dobmeyer
    Today’s Issues

  63. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 2:25 pm:

    Doug, try to make your points without insulting others here. If they want to be anonymous, that’s their choice. If you can’t deal with it, then don’t come around. I love you, dude, but these are my people.

  64. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 4:53 pm:

    Rich, thanks for the info on pensions from the Daily Herald. Good to know.

    There is still a question that remains unanswered, though: can George Ryan retain his state pension benefits from his service in the General Assembly and as Lt Gov - service that remains free of criminal belish or conviction - or does a criminal conviction relating to his later public service reach back and cancel all pension benefits for earlier as well as later state employment ?

    A truly crappy but hopefully useful graphic would be:

    Not Guilty===========>Guilty=====>
    Pensn $ Avail——–>Pension $ Lost

    Also, word is a Chicago company/firm has hired Lura Lynn Ryan to work in the office answering phones (ostensibly) so she has a job, salary, benefits, etc.

    The spouse shouldn’t suffer because they are married to a felon, e.g. Marisol Reynolds and her three children having to live at a homeless shelter for a year because they had to sell their home and everything they owned to pay Mel Reynolds criminal restitution judgment and legal fees. (Dan Webb, Jim Thompson and the law firm of Winston & Strawn did not offer to cover Mel’s legal bill.)

  65. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 4:56 pm:

    Sorry for the typos, e.g. should be “blemish.”

    Also, my crappy graphic is even more crappy after I posted it and the formatting is misaligned. :)

  66. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 6:45 pm:

    Rich, I have never said these words before. I agree with Doug Dobmeyer.

    It’s awfully easy to be a wizard with info, allegations, and accusations anonymously. George can’t hurt them anymore. He can’t fire them or their wives or cancel their state contracts or whatever their personal wild paranoia is. They ought to stand up rather than take their cheap shots from behind the curtain.

  67. - Marie C. - Thursday, Sep 7, 06 @ 7:09 pm:

    ::Also, word is a Chicago company/firm has hired Lura Lynn Ryan to work in the office answering phones (ostensibly) so she has a job, salary, benefits, etc.

    Don’t you think Lura is getting Social Security and Medicare benefits herself? Even though George will lose his Social Security, I don’t think Lura will lose hers. I mean, yeah, her benefits probably come under George’s Social SEcurity number, but the check she gets is hers. Right?

    In any event, I have a hard time believing her kids would stand for her going to work at her age. Really.

  68. - OAD - Friday, Sep 8, 06 @ 1:54 am:

    Yeah, because now that George Ryan is off to the clink, there are no other reasons for private citizens to avoid tying their names in ‘print’ with their private political thoughts.

    Don’t like anonymity? Turn off your internet.

    Anonymity and politics
    “The history of anonymous expression in political dissent is both long and honourable, as in the Letters of Junius or Voltaire’s Candide, or scurrilous as in pasquinades. In the tradition of anonymous British political criticism, the Federalist Papers were anonymously authored. Without the public discourse on the controversial contents of the U.S. Constitution, ratification would likely have taken much longer as individuals worked through the issues. The Declaration of Independence, however, was not anonymous. If it had been unsigned, it might well have been less effective. In The Infrastructure of Democracy, John Perry Barlow, Joichi Ito, and other US bloggers express a very strong support for anonymous editing as one of the basic requirements of open politics as conducted on the Internet.” (Wikipedia/Anonymity)

    I don’t think anyone has any illusions that the CFB here will become the next Federalist Papers, but then, that isn’t really the point of the exercise. Open discussion/debate is.

    And Steve S., if ’standing up’ is so important, why don’t you do complete disclosure with each post in which you gripe about the anonymous masses - Full name, mother’s maiden, address, home phone, driver’s license, SSN, etc? Put it all on the table…nothing to be afraid of, right?

  69. - Scot Farwell - Saturday, Oct 7, 06 @ 5:51 am:

    please send cookie treats

  70. Pingback What Price Justice? » Blog Archive » Maybe they should call it “Con Bono” - Wednesday, Jan 30, 08 @ 10:37 am:

    […] How much is the former sheriff of Orange County (charged with accepting cash, favors and gifts) paying for his legal defense? $0.  The mega firm of Jones Day is handling the case pro bono (although the ex-Sheriff will pay legal fees for a breif period before he resigned from office). How much does the Sheriff earn annually in retirement pay? $200K.  How much did Former Illinois governor George Ryan pay his lawyers at Winston & Strawn for defending charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax fraud? $0. The firm handled it pro bono. How much did the defense cost? $20 million. Do you have to pay tax on pro bono efforts done on your behalf? Alas, that’s a murky legal issue. […]

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