A Tour of Illinois' Criminal Governors

-By Warner Todd Huston

With the recent result of the latest trial and conviction of former Illinois Governor Democrat Rod Blagojevich, it is interesting to take a little tour of all the Illinois Governors that were indicted at one time or another. Some of them even served time.

It appears that the number of indicted Illinois Democrats beats the Republicans by one with four Democrats indicted to the Republican’s three. On the other hand, the ones jailed is top heavy with Democrats with two Democrats jailed to only one Republican jailed. And one more Democrat will be serving time once Blagojevich’s trials are all done and over making it three to one.

As you read this list, folks, remember that THIS is the state where President Barack Obama learned his politics.

Here is the list…

Joel A. Matteson (1853 – 1857)
Party: Democrat
Charge: Embezzling
Verdict: Not convicted

Len Small (1921 – 1929)
Party: Republican
Charge: Embezzling $2 million when he was State Treasurer
Verdict: Acquitted (but jury tampering is suspected as 4 of the jurors ended up with new state jobs)

William Stratton (1953 – 1961)
Party: Republican
Charge: Cheating on Taxes by using political contributions for personal expenses
Verdict: Acquitted

Otto Kerner (1961 – 1968)
Party: Democrat
Charge: Bribery, perjury, bag man for racetrack industry
Verdict: Convicted, sentenced to 3 years, served 7 months

Dan Walker (1973 – 1977)
Party: Democrat
Charge: Bank fraud and perjury
Verdict: Guilty, sentenced to 7 years, served 17 months

George Ryan (1999 – 2003)
Party: Republican
Charge: Conspiracy, racketeering
Verdict: Guilty, sentenced to 6 1/2 years. Still serving.

Rod Blagojevich (2004 – 2009)
Party: Democrat
Charge: Extortion, lying to the feds, selling a U.S. Senate seat
Verdict: Guilty so far on one count of lying to the feds, re-trial being scheduled.

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