Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, was indicted on multiple counts of attempted extortion and solicitation.
Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, was indicted on multiple felony counts. Rod made headlines earlier this year after he was accused of attempting to sell President Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. The seat eventually went to Roland Burris, who has since denied that he had anything to do with the scandal and, despite calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for his resignation, is still serving Illinois in the Senate.
Along with Rod, several others were charged in the same indictment including his brother and Campaign Chairman Robert Blagojevich, his Chief of Staff John Harris, a lobbyist and two Chicago-area businessmen accused of engaging in pay-to-play with government authority and funds.
Rod’s rap sheet is about a mile long with a whopping 19 counts. The charges include 11 counts of wire fraud, two counts of attempted extortion, one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of extortion conspiracy and one count of making false statements.
Among Rod’s list of alleged crimes is the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) scandal that also involved one of the indicted businessmen, William Cellini. According to a press release issued by the Department of Justice, the two are accused of using TRS to gain campaign funds for Rod’s’s reelection by "shaking down an investment firm" that was seeking allocation from TRS.
The government has been tracking Rod for six years and used wiretaps to intercept phone conversations he had with the other indicted men.
All six defendants will be arraigned at a later, to-be-determined date.