Illinois Supreme Court Disbars Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media on Feb. 19, 2020, a day after his 14-year sentence was cut short by President Donald Trump. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media on Feb. 19, 2020, a day after his 14-year sentence was cut short by President Donald Trump. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court officially disbarred former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday, two months after a state panel recommended that the disgraced politician lose his law license. 

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The court’s decision was hardly a surprise and Blagojevich, whose license was suspended indefinitely after his 2008 arrest, did not fight to regain it. He didn’t attend a March hearing about the matter before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, and he suggested afterward that he had no intention of practicing law again. 

“Imagine yourself sitting on a plane and then the pilot announces before takeoff that he hasn’t flown in 25 years,” Blagojevich said. “Wouldn’t you want to get off that plane? I don’t want to hurt anybody.”

During that hearing, which came days after President Donald Trump commuted his 14-year sentence, the commission panel heard evidence that led to Blagojevich’s convictions for a host of felony charges, including that he tried to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama and that he tried to shake down a children’s hospital CEO and racetrack owner. 

Since his release from prison, the 63-year-old Blagojevich has earned money from a website where customers pay for personalized video tributes from celebrities. And earlier this month, he signed on to host a podcast put out by WLS-AM radio in Chicago called “The Lightning Rod.” Blagojevich said in announcing the show that he was “fired up” to speak his mind and share what he’s “learned from the school of hard knocks.”


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